This past year has seen disruption unfold across almost all sectors as many people had to pivot the way they work and live. One pivot that was trending before the pandemic and largely exacerbated by it was the move towards business ownership by more and more individuals. In fact, our team at Austin-based ZenBusiness, a one-stop-shop to form, run and grow a business, recently announced that more than 100,000 micro businesses have been formed using the platform since the onset of the pandemic — an increase of more than 300 percent — allowing these individuals to transition to full time entrepreneurship and follow their dreams.
The past year our team has witnessed firsthand a micro business renaissance take hold, as more people decided to hang their own shingle, embrace entrepreneurship, and become their own boss.
“It has been awe-inspiring to see so many people take the leap towards business ownership as a means to change their lives and follow their dreams, especially in the face of such adverse conditions,” said ZenBusiness CEO and co-founder Ross Buhrdorf. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and to help play a role in their growth and success is a responsibility we take seriously. The micro business renaissance is here to stay and we are excited to be along for the journey.”
ZenBusiness helps entrepreneurs form an LLC, as well as provides access to tools for banking and insurance, invoicing and payments, accounting and taxes, and website development. Whereas in the past, aspiring business owners would need to hire a lawyer, accountant, web developer, and more, customers can get all the assistance they need in one place.
Data Tells a Tale
A look at ZenBusiness data trends over the past year provides key takeaways on new business formations in the wake of the pandemic, including:
- 39 percent of the new businesses founded over the past year were women-owned as opposed to 30 percent the year before, highlighting a jump in women entrepreneurs during the pandemic
- Entrepreneurs over the age of 65 saw the biggest jump in growth — 180 percent
- Young entrepreneurs also saw a jump, with 18–24 year olds growing by 37 percent year over year
- The largest portion of entrepreneurs are in the 25–34 year old age group (35 percent of all entrepreneurs in the ZenBusiness network)
- Regionally, California (38k), Texas (24k), Florida (16k), and New York (11k) led the way for new businesses formed over the past year
- The most popular new businesses formed over the past year included: Software Consultants, Truck Drivers, Amazon / Online Sellers, Real Estate, Arts (i.e. photography and design)
Polling the Customers
ZenBusiness polled roughly 500 customers to look at a host of factors relating to their businesses. Some findings include:
- 63 percent of respondents said the pandemic played a role in their decision to form a business
- 65 percent expected their businesses to grow regardless of economic conditions
- 44 percent said the main goal for starting a business was to “change their life” and 20 percent noted it was “to be their own boss”
- 80 percent of respondents said that stimulus checks would be reinvested directly into their businesses
With the addition of more than 100,000 new customers and a successful Series B financing round of $55 million in November 2020, ZenBusiness has implemented a growth plan to meet the demand for our services.
Since March 2020, we have continued to grow and expand the platform, enhance design, and plan new innovative offerings to continue to provide best-in-class customer support. In addition, ZenBusiness is in the process of building out its next phase of offerings including ZenBusiness Money and ZenBusiness U to provide financial services as well as business-focused education for customers on a wide range of topics. Both are expected to roll out later this year