Startups power the global economy. Despite the risks associated with starting a new venture, those brave enough to “go on their own,” introduce new ideas into commerce, creating jobs and living wages around the globe. Building a startup is a risky business; 50 million new businesses start every year. However, 90% percent of those businesses will fail. To make matters worse, the financial downturn brought about by Covid-19 has caused a global shortage of venture capital funding, halting the monetary engine that gives rise to millions of jobs.
It is rare to find a person not impacted by the global pandemic. Regardless of where you stand, all of our lives have been touched. For many, poverty has worsened. For others, we have been robbed of the most basic social connections causing a deep sense of isolation. Many businesses have gone under, but perhaps there is a story of inspiration for all of us in the story of startups.
According to Startup Genome, 96% of startups have continued working during the crisis. Despite the overwhelming disruptions, these mavericks have found a way to keep moving forward.
If you are looking for inspiration in dark times, here are some facts that might help you. Half of the Fortune 500 companies started during an economic downturn. In 2008, during the Great Recession, 50 unicorns (companies valued over a billion dollars) were started. These companies, like Airbnb, have changed life as we know it, disrupting norms, and creating new opportunities for people around the globe.
Perhaps startups are doing more than creating wealth. These small, scrappy companies are telling us to remain inspired and to have hope. In the face of intensely negative odds, these companies continue to move forward. Maybe there is a lesson for all of us. Despite the fear and isolation of our situation today, if we are willing to see it, opportunities are surrounding us. And for that, we can again thank startup founders.