The Great Resignation could lead to a small business revolution. An unprecedented rate of workers quit their jobs at big companies, due to safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic served as a chance for workers to express and act upon their dissatisfaction of wage stagnation amid rising cost of living, lack of opportunities for advancement, - leading masses of workers to rethink their careers, work conditions, and long-term goals.
According to the 2021 study by Bankrate, the primary reason for the mass resignation was due to workers' desire for freedom of remote work, schedule flexibility and better work–life balance.
Intuit's 2021 New Business Insights report predicts 17 million new small businesses will be formed in 2022, a third consecutive record year for entrepreneurship.The jump from working at big businesses to people launching their own comes as the pandemic depicts how people want to work.
83% of the people who want to start a business reported COVID-19 have accelerated their plans to open the doors to their own small business. As the pandemic hit in 2019, an unprecedented number of new businesses formed as millions of people reevaluated their priorities and spotted new opportunities. Three years in, this trend is continuing into 2022 with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting over 5.4 million new business applications were filed, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million.
Many of the new small businesses fall into the category of microbusinesses - with between one and five employees and less than $50,000 in start-up capital. Although small in their individual ventures, collectively, they employ 41 million people and have a $5 trillion economic impact. Small businesses play a crucial role in local economies, providing jobs and serving their communities. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small companies create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64 percent of new jobs created, forming the backbone of economy.
The jump from corporate businesses to entrepreneur small businesses is not just a trend or moment in time; it is a movement. The priority, and way of thinking in workers has shifted. Having come into contact with the life-threatening events of the pandemic served as an opportunity for workers to reflect on the ephemerality of life, to consider whether we are happy with our lives or whether we would like to make changes to them. Workers no longer want to settle and to set higher standards to their jobs. This shift in thought has caused companies to bend - they scramble to retain and attract workers, offering retention bonuses, allowing employees to work remotely indefinitely and providing new benefits to support workers’ personal and professional development.
This entrepreneurial spirit; the attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change is causing a historic moment: a revolution - as small businesses reclaim the true purpose of capitalism of creating public value with a mindset which embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.