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Start a Business

Who started a business in a recession?

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Wondering if the time is right, is one of the first factors that people consider. Many people assume that for a business to be truly successful, it has to be launched during prosperous and economically buoyant times. Whilst for some sectors, that can be a distinct advantage , it is not true across the board. In fact, some of the most famous brands that we know today were founded during extremely challenging economic times. So who started a business in a recession? Well..we have put together a list of some of those brands  – so if you are thinking about starting a business and somewhat put off by the “doom and gloom “ factor, take a look at these guys for inspiration and just take the leap.
Burger King – 1953
In 1953, the US was adjusting itself to the end of the Korean War and controlling inflation was the primary focus. Aware that no matter what was happening in the economy, people still had to eat, 2 Florida residents, set up a fast food restaurant – Insta-Burger King and then tried to sell franchises of it. When 2 Miami based franchisees, James McLamore and David Edgerton subsequently bought the company, the Burger King story truly began.
Microsoft – 1975
1975 saw the US economy suffering the double blow of rising unemployment and rising inflation. Perfect time to start a business? Well according to 2 childhood friends, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, it was. With a passion for computer programmng, they decided to set up a business based on their shared skills. And on April 4 1975, Microsoft was born.
During the heart of a double dip recession, entrepreneur Ted Turner came up with the novel idea of having a tv channel , providing 24 hours news coverage. The Cable News Network debuted in June 1980 and thereby changed the face of news broadcasting forever.
Karen Millen
Despite the economic downturn of the early 1980’s, Karen Millen and partner Kevin Stanford borrowed £100, bought 1000 metres of white cotton and begn designing and manufacturing shirts. 30 years later the company has firmly established itself as an iconic global brand offering designer style at the top end of the high street.
Green & Blacks
The UK in the early 1990’s was again in the throes of another recession – with unemployment rising by 55%.  Yet it was exactly when Craig Sams and his wife, Josephine Fairley decided to set up Green & Blacks the premium priced chocolate company. Named after their environmental concerns and the high cocoa content they wished to provide, it quickly filled a niche in the chocolate market and became a pioneer in ethical sourcing and trading.This of course is literally only a handful of the brands that have been set up during the most challenging economic times.
The key thing that all these businesses have in common is that their founders had an idea that they truly believed in and wanted to succeed. Their commitment, drive and tenacity is what ensured that these businesses not only survived but grew.
So if you too have an idea that you feel could work, then now really is as good a time as any…
Do let us know via the comments section below of anyone else who started a business in a recession. We’d love to hear from you!


3 Responses to “Who started a business in a recession?”

  1. I loved this post, as starting a business in a recession is exactly what I did. My strategy, however, was to position our services in a small, yet powerful niche of clients, and concentrate on providing a reliable and valuable service to them to support their business through the economic downturn.

    Thanks so much for inspiring me on this fine morning!

    Posted by thinkpotentialbusiness | September 16, 2011, 7:50 am
  2. Your post really helped me to understand. It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.
    That’s what i was looking for. I will definately share it with others.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by online ged | October 4, 2011, 12:00 pm

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