An entrepreneurial spirit has been cultivated during the lockdown period, according to a new study that reported that 22% of Brits have been motivated to begin their own businesses in the creative industry during COVID. This could be particularly significant amidst the concerns that 400,000 jobs in the creative industries could be lost as a result of Coronavirus.
Why is this important?
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released figures today showing that unemployment has risen by 649,000 between March and June. The number of people claiming work-related benefits – including the unemployed – is now 2.6 million. However, the total was not as significant as many feared, largely due to the vast number of firms have put employees on the government-backed furlough scheme.
It was recently reported that 7 in 10 UK businesses have made use of the job retention scheme, thus suggesting that the full impact of the pandemic on jobs will not be known until October when the scheme comes to an end.
Side hustles now the central hustle
Desktop factory specialists Mayku conducted the study and has witnessed the surge in solopreneurs since March when the lockdown measures were put in place for Britain and many other countries around the world. Motivated by assisting independent creators through democratising manufacturing, Mayku says it “empowers artisanal business owners” by providing them with access to industrial-grade materials (and the equipment needed to utilise them) at a fraction of the cost charged by third-party manufacturers.
The company was founded in 2015 by Benjamin Redford and Alex Smilansky. The duo first met at Mint Digital before setting up their business and spending that first year prototyping their invention at Makerversity – an eclectic shared office in Somerset House, London.
In this maker space, Ben and Alex created the FormBox; a desktop-sized vacuum former which they built using a simple household vacuum cleaner and components from RS.
Today, the business is made up of a community of designers, engineers, crafters and industry experts, committed to “democratising” manufacturing and empowering anybody to kickstart their own businesses.
The company’s desktop vacuum forming technology enables businesses to rapidly design their products and carry out small to medium manufacturing runs in-house, far faster and cheaper than could be achieved than with traditional manufacturing processes.
“The news that over 649,000 jobs have been lost shows that Coronavirus has had a huge impact on unemployment in the UK, and is sure to have repercussions in the years to come,” says Alex Smilansky , co-founder of Mayku.
“This is why it is absolutely vital that we are able to kickstart the economy by giving professionals the access to the tools and materials they need to get back to work, especially as we have found that 22% of people have been motivated to begin their own business in the creative industry alone,” says Smilansky.
Fellow Mayku co-founder, Benjamin Redford, says to reinvigorate the creative sector and resuscitate creative Britain, the bright minds and the business leaders in the sector must be able to “work flexibly and remotely, and utilise high-quality equipment and materials at a manageable cost.”
Mayku has been helping companies all of the world, especially in the protective masks segment, by selling and guiding customers to industrial-grade materials via sites, such as Amazon, and its own desktop manufacturing equipment, including its FormBox, which is ideal for small runs of products, which can then be made and sold immediately, without having to commit to costly large-scale manufacturing runs.
To hear more about the Mayku startup journey check out this video below.