- Women started almost half of the new businesses in 2020.
- Many turned to social media to promote their brands, find customers, and grow their presence.
- Today, top TikTok and social media stars out-earn executives at the world’s largest corporations.
When the pandemic flipped the world upside down two years ago, working women were among the most negatively affected. Today, they’re part of a new class of entrepreneurs who are changing the small-business industry with their pursuit of social media and unique quarantine hobbies turned careers.
More than 4 million people lost their jobs in the first two years of the pandemic, and women account for 57.3% of the losses, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, working women felt more exhausted, burned out, and under pressure than their male colleagues, a 2020 Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey found.
Many women turned workplace frustration into determination by launching their own businesses.
Almost half of the people who launched companies in 2020 were women, up from 27% in previous years, found a survey of about 1,500 entrepreneurs by the human-resources platform Gusto.
“The pandemic shook up what seemed like a safe route for most people,” said Meredith Meyer Grelli, an entrepreneurship professor at Carnegie Mellon. “If the thing you thought was certain — your job — no longer looks safe, the jump that looked like such a big risk doesn’t seem so big anymore.”
While we masked up, stood 6 feet apart, and closed our doors to the world, we also opened our phones. Social-media usage increased by 61% during the first wave of the pandemic, found a study by Kantar, a media-trend research platform. Women were among the entrepreneurs to tap that surge, creating businesses with little more than a passion, smartphone, and social-media account. For example, as of August 2021, more than 53% of TikTok creators were women.
Insider found 10 women who launched companies in the pandemic to get their best tips for going viral and growing a business using social media.
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