Tech Start-Ups Boomed in 2020


By Ed Smith, freelance journalist.

2020 is a year that will live long in the memory. It saw tremendous change in the way that we all live our lives. The economic consequences of the period were profound, and will surely be long-lasting.

Being unable to get out of the house for much of the time, we’ve all gotten much better acquainted with our phones, tablets and computers. Reliable internet has become a necessity in the age of working-from-home, and we’ve become dependent on online shops for everything from groceries to entertainment.

Start-Up Boom

2020 also saw a marked uptick in the number of new companies being registered. People who’ve been furloughed or made redundant have started out on their own in record numbers. The poster printing company instantprint found that nearly half a million new businesses were registered over the course of the year. This comes despite the fact that the economy had slumped by a record 9.9% over the same period.

Tech Matters

With this surge in interest in technology coming at the same time as a surge in new business registration, it should probably come as no surprise that many of those new businesses have a technological bent. The most popular category, retail sales, is made up almost entirely of new e-commerce ventures, at just over 22,000 new businesses. Then there’s the IT consultancy sector, which alone makes up more than 9,000, and the business and software development sector, which sites just behind at 5,395 new businesses. These broader categories often fail to encompass the entirety of the technology boom. For example, there have been 340 experimental biotech start-ups,

With so many businesses having to make rapid pivots to new ways of working, the value of IT expertise has never been greater. Effectively handling and co-ordinating remote workers means having technology that you know isn’t going to break down – as well as the expertise necessary to use it.

What Else Did the Research Reveal?

instantprint’s research uncovered a range of other titbits, many of which might come as a surprise. For example, despite the exodus from London that’s ongoing partly as a consequence of the remote-working revolution, the capital remains by far and away the most popular place to start a new business. It accounts for more than a fifth of new start-ups, at 123,462 out of 468,371.

Interestingly, the most popular day for registering a start-up is Tuesday – though there is a fairly even split between the weekdays. Weekends are low-activity time for business registrations.

The figures also suggest that the country’s entrepreneurial spirit isn’t likely to go anywhere in 2021. Around a fifth of adults in the country (that’s 18%) claim that they’re definitely going to start a new business, while a further third (29%) are merely ‘considering’ doing so. If you’ve got the necessary tech skills, then now might be the perfect time to set up shop.

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