A recent study undertaken throughout two UK lockdowns shows a significant rise in the number of women launching their own businesses for the first time. Print-Print, a nationwide leader in the provision of printed leaflets, brochures, posters, and business stationery, has published the findings of its latest COVID-19 study, highlighting a surge in orders from female entrepreneurs.
Having worked to comprehensively analyse order details and user behaviours since the UK’s first lockdown in April 2020, Print-Print confirms that orders for quality business stationery from female-owned startups has grown by almost one third during the crisis. While the print expert’s male/female customer ratio stood at roughly 50/50 prior to the pandemic, an estimated 78% of Print-Print’s startup customers throughout the COVID-19 outbreak identify as female.
Of these customers, Print-Print believes that the majority are women who are starting their own business for the first time. The study reports a tenfold increase in the number of orders requiring basic design support, suggesting that these are brands that are being newly created and launched. This is in direct contrast with Print-Print’s usual customer base; brands that have already established their own visual branding and require just minimal changes to ensure that branding translates excellently to a printed design.
“At Print-Print, we pride ourselves on the extensive range of businesses we work with, and the unique insight that our work provides into the business marketplace in general, and so we’ve become very clear over the years exactly what our typical customer looks like,” says Print-Print Director Dean Williams. “But our latest research shows that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a massive impact on the startup landscape, and we were very pleasantly surprised to see such a large, rapid shift towards female entrepreneurship.”
Building upon Print-Print’s original research, the CFA Institute – the global association for investment professionals – has uncovered a similar trend across North America. While there are many possible reasons for the rise in female entrepreneurship, the effect that the pandemic has had on women in employment must be considered. According to statistics published by the UK Government, more women than men were furloughed ‘in most counties and regions’. Additionally, insights firm McKinsey notes that while women account for 39% of the global workforce, they make up 54% of COVID-19 job losses.
These statistics suggest that, while more women may have suffered job losses as a result of the pandemic than men, many are taking matters into their own hands and launching their own startups, helping to relaunch the economy.
Print-Print’s exclusive research also uncovered a number of other interesting observations about the state of the print and marketing industry. While letterhead paper has traditionally been a bestseller, Print-Print believes that mail is quickly falling out of favour during the pandemic, accounting for just 1% of recent orders. With many operations shifting online, price lists top the leader board as the most requested stationery, accounting for 32% of orders.