Coronavirus lockdown prompted more teens to start their own business

While the total number of new startups in the Netherlands decreased since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the number of new businesses started by children and teenagers up to the age of 19 is on the rise. In March and April this year, this age group started 2,139 new businesses, 137 more than the same months last year, Trouw reports based n figures from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK).

In general, the coronavirus crisis had a negative impact on the number of startups in the Netherlands. The total number of new businesses decreased by 14 percent in March compared to the year before, and even by 34 percent in April. 

But not among young people. According to Gerdine Annaars of the KvK, this fits in with the broader trend over the past years that more children are starting their own businesses and at a younger age. Over the past five years, the number of businesses started by kids aged 19 or younger increased from less than 5 thousand to 12,972.

"We even have children aged eight or nine," Annaars said to Trouw. "They record animated films, for example, knit trendy hats, or go out with an ice cream cart. Especially with young children, the role and practical support of parents is of course important. Often they are also entrepreneurs and they encourage and help their children to set something up."

According to Annaars, the number of companies opened in the category "repairs and mail order" in particular took off since the lockdown, increasing from 371 to 608 in March. "A lot is being ordered online today. Young entrepreneurs see this development and take their chance," Annaars said. "It may also play a role that some young people have lost their side jobs and resort to other means."

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