Number of Startups in Switzerland is rising, Businesses Go AGILE after COVID19

by | Jun 26, 2020 | Entrepreneurship

After an absolute minimum of company’s foundations in Switzerland is rising again – 3319 foundations  in May 2020 which is 587 companies more (+21%) than in April 2020. Statistics was published by STARTUPS.CH.

COVID19 had a negative impact on company’s launch industry. Compared to the figures of the previous year there was still a decrease of 9% or 333 fewer were launched in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

French-speaking Switzerland turned out to be the most vulnerable part during lockdown time. But in May it showed the biggest increase (+48,45%) compared to the other parts of Switzerland. There was also an increase in German-speaking Switzerland (+283 start-ups and +13.87%) and Ticino (+23 start-ups and +20.72%).

Apart from the companies foundations pandemic time, especially lockdown period changed the local businesses, making them more agile and client-oriented. We had a conversation with 5 fempreneurs on how they could adapt their business models to a new reality. 

Photo: Maria Talanova / suissepic

Vena, Educational Toys (Zurich)

 “We run a family business making educational toys and care kits under the brand name Karin&Me. We had a solid plan for 2020, being lined up several markets throughout the year. The first major ones were scheduled in March 2020. Then we faced COVID lockdown and one by one, our markets got cancelled. Luckily our online platform peaked in April.

The next issue we had to face was the lack of supplies. COVID disrupted international trade for raw materials and consequently, our suppliers had to close down as well. We had to make the hard decision of stopping the production of our most popular item, quiet books. On hindsight, this experience pushed us to pivot our business to include digital products. It made us more resilient.

With the possibility of a second wave, our remaining markets are at risk of being cancelled. Most of our sales are made during the Christmas season, so that is concerning. We estimate potential losses as of thousands of Swiss francs. We continue to pivot our business to be more “COVID/LOCKDOWN” resistant”.

Photo: Karin&Me

Paulina, Owner of a Communication Agency (Nyon, Vaud)

“I own a communication agency that empowers value-driven entrepreneurs to grow their business through communication. Many of my clients are small businesses that were very much touched by the pandemic, I also saw a 20% decline in my work, when the lockdown started. In addition, autumn’s projects are uncertain as well.

I became more flexible and offered my services also for solopreneurs and very small. I had a dream to launch an online course. This quiet time is a perfect period to focus on my dream. It was not always easy time-management wise, since I have a 4-year old daughter, but having a clear goal and vision also helped me to structure my days and keep moving forward in an uncertain situation”.

Photo: Paulina Rasi

Maria, Wine Tasting Events (Geneva)
“I used to arrange organized wine tastings in Geneva in various cafes around town with about 15-20 participants. When the lockdown came I had to cancel everything in March: presentations, wineries visiting, tasting events. I proposed to my clients to go online. Wine tasting is a very sensory experience, so in the beginning I had a concern about an online format. I contacted wine merchants and importers and pitched my idea.

During my first event I had more than 20 people and a very positive feedback. I started presenting different wines, grapes varieties and regions. Since then I already held 6 events with 15 -25 people each. We continue doing this now even having bars and restaurants open again. This crisis made me more creative and flexible”.

Photo: Maria Zioga

Inga, Home Organizer (Geneva)
“I am a Professional Home Organizer and in 2016 I founded my own company, Home in Balance. My work with clients is intimate. They invite me to their homes and life and we have a close relationship; hand to hand and face to face. It worked quite well till March 2020, but given COVID19 and lock down, I had to cancel all the booking my clients had previously made. I offered virtual consultation for some of my clients.

Now I don’t get as many queries as expected. I don’t know if given social distancing, people are still afraid to invite a stranger to their home or it is mostly triggered by the fact that during the lock down they finally found time to declutter and organize their homes by themselves. I also suspect that they are still a bit overwhelmed with working from home, sending kids to school, etc. I am quite disappointed with the decrease in interest in my services and I really think that it might be truly challenging to be an entrepreneur in COVID19 reality”.

Photo: Inga Fira Jurkowska


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