As a business student, both at my Sixth Form and hopefully at university, I have been particularly interested in how the COVID-19 pandemic has and will affect businesses across, not just the UK, but the world. There are a lot of negative points to be seen: the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) has tanked, people have lost jobs they have held for almost their entire working lives, some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had to close their doors, and we are in the largest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
However, in the shroud of darkness which surrounded the business world in 2020, there is a glimmer of hope. An entire generation of students, like myself, are slowly but surely coming to the forefront, with a range of new ideas and a real passion for learning more about business as a whole. This enthusiasm from the “COVID generation” may actually be what keeps business alive after the pandemic, helping the British economy to recover from near collapse due to an invisible yet deadly enemy.
As many have been noticing, there are many businesses which have actually benefitted from the pandemic. Amazon.com, Inc. is one of these businesses, perhaps an example of how a large business has been able to adapt to a situation out of their control. Amazon’s entire business model is based on delivery to homes, which has seen a vast increase whilst COVID has taken hold of our society. Whilst Amazon is a largely delivery-based business anyway, the fact that it has been able to thrive during this unprecedented situation may have been noticed by aspiring entrepreneurs, who will be looking to make their own mark on the business world.
There has also been a massive increase in the number of people choosing to do their supermarket shops online: 102% more people are shopping online for food now than last year, according to Charged Retail, and 17.2 million British people now plan to switch to shopping online permanently, according to the Retail Gazette website. SMEs and individual producers have also seen an increase in the amount of orders they receive; not only on Amazon, but also on websites such as Etsy, the latter of which has been predicted to see a large increase in business by Forbes.
With this rise in online orders, and both small creators and businesses benefitting from this, it is clear that there is an opportunity for business-minded young people to enter and influence the world of business and commerce. It may be in helping small business to reach a wider audience, or simply maintaining its current success. It may be in helping larger businesses to come up with new, innovative ideas, such as ideas on how to become kinder to our planet. It may be in setting up new businesses, designed to provide new products or services which may not yet have been provided by a major world player. Whatever role the next generation of business students play, it will be vital to the UK’s economic recovery and increase in productivity.
For this reason, I believe that, as the next generation of business students and, ultimately, of entrepreneurs, accountants, managers and even CEOs, our efforts will be crucial to the UK, once again, becoming a major economic player. In this way, we can use and develop the talents and passion we have for business to the country’s and its businesses’ advantage. After all, there is no energy and passion like that of new and emerging generations
Written by Liam Downing