Home business start-ups at all-time high during pandemic

Bee Woodhouse pictured left and Layla Ahmed pictured right

According to the Centre for Entrepeneurs (CFE), June saw a record-breaking number of new businesses formed as Brits used lockdown to start a company.

Amongst these were Layla Ahmed, age 21, and Bee Woodhouse, age 22, both started online home-businesses during the pandemic.

”I started my business around May,” explains Bee,”It initially was just me making earrings and hats from scrap material just seeing what I could make for myself or my sister, and then I thought ‘oh wow I could actually sell some of this’

”I thought I could just turn it into a mini-business.”

Bee has since sold over 100 products over the course of several months.

A sample of Bee Woodhouse’s ‘upcycled’ bucket hats

”It was difficult to up my process because I was charging five pounds for a reversible bucket hat when it was taking me almost a day to make

”Since there’s not much understanding on the cost of independent businesses it is harder sometimes to get as many people to buy your stuff as they’d often rather go for something cheaper.”

Layla started her baking business during the first lockdown too. She became popular through her Instagram page.

A Lotus-Biscoff cake baked by Layla Ahmed

”It was quite a shock that I had a lot of orders. In the beginning I had a celebration cake order, maybe one or two every week.

”I’m struggling to balance university time with my business. I’m not too sure how much I’ve made through the course of the business but it’s giving me steady ground, I’m not having to work a part-time job like I used to,” says Layla,

”At the start it was friends and family, but then it became friends of friends, and then strangers.

”Starting the business has helped keep me busy and helped my mental health. It’s nice to have something else to do. It’s nice to be doing something for myself that I actually enjoy and it’s quite relaxing.”

Layla and Bee have dedicated online platforms to advance their at-home businesses which can be found at https://www.layeredbylayla.com/ (Layla Ahmed) and https://www.instagram.com/beanies.art/ (Bee Woodhouse).

About the Author

Hadiyah Ilyas and Kaveen Dhesi
Hadiyah Ilyas and Kaveen Dhesi are reporters for LeedsNow

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