The new year is a time when consumers often look to make significant changes to their lifestyle, whether it’s picking up new hobbies, creating better habits or spending their money more wisely.
But 2023 also brings challenges, in particular the cost-of-living crisis. At GoDaddy, we pride ourselves in delivering the best possible support for entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale their businesses. To get a better understanding of Brits who will embrace their creativity and ambition this January and start a new business, we surveyed more than 2,000 UK consumers and asked them about their entrepreneurial spirit. This new research shows that three in five (58%) aspiring entrepreneurs say they won’t be able to afford their bills without extra income generated by their small business or side hustle. Clearly, the cost-of-living crisis is creating a new generation of ‘necessity entrepreneurs’.
In the midst of these uncertain conditions, people are looking to take back control of their finances by making the most of the refreshed feeling they have from the start of the new year. The data is telling: we found that almost half (48%) of Brits are considering launching a side hustle in 2023, with 85% saying their thinking is being fuelled by rising costs. Some of the top vocations for a side hustle include pet sitter (13%), jewellery maker (12%), dog groomer (11%), and social media influencer (10%).
Interestingly, Gen Z and Millennials are the most likely to become necessity entrepreneurs to bolster their finances, with a significant proportion (75%) of 18-34 year olds saying they want to start their own venture this year, while 51% of these say that the income from their side hustle will help with fixed costs, such as rent and energy bills.
As any entrepreneur can attest, starting your own business can be daunting. But with the extra time and energy the new year brings, there’s good reason for this latest crop of entrepreneurs to be optimistic. More than two in five (43%) of the new business owners surveyed said they already have already seen their business or side hustle make a difference in covering rising costs.
One such example of a business that launched during a time of uncertainty is GoDaddy customer, Gordon Dowall-Potter, 43, from Fife, Scotland. He created MANtenatal in January 2021, which helps expectant dads prepare for the journey to fatherhood.
“In the midst of the pandemic we faced many of the same challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis: economic instability, uncertainty about the future, loss of control. Launching MANtenatal was, for me, a way to regain control and plan for the future.”
“The start of the year is the best time to launch a new business. Many feel re-energised and have a new outlook for the year ahead, so grasp it! Much of the success of MANtenatal was achieved through early planning. Take advantage of the energy and calm of January and February to build your 12-month plan.”
A new trend is forming with the economic crisis having a direct impact on the growth of the microbusiness sector. We expect the UK will see a big surge in these ‘necessity entrepreneurs’ throughout 2023. Based on our research, we predict that there will be up to 1.8m small business websites launched in the UK in January 2023 alone.
As the country faces ongoing financial challenges this year, we need to support microbusinesses so they can flourish. After all, they are the engine of the British economy. When they thrive, we all do.
1. Survey of 2,383 UK consumers taken in November 2022. The sample was nationally representative and the polling was undertaken by Mortar Research, who are accredited by the Market Research Society
2. Sum: UK adult population (53,629,083) x 18% who say that they are launching a new business and planning is ‘already underway’. This figure (9,473,235) x 19% of people who say they will launch a website for their microbusiness in January 2023 = 1,799,915