August 19, 2022

For many young people, 2020 has been the year for starting a small business and becoming an entrepreneur. Many young adults have hopped onto the trend of starting an at-home business.

According to research Junior Achievement and Ernst & Young LLP (EY), “41 per cent of teens would consider entrepreneurship as a career option, versus working in a traditional job.”

“In 2020 the number of small business in the US has reached 31.7 million, it has marked as a 3.15 per cent increase from last year and has had a growth of 7.09 per cent since 2017

One of many places where it has been trending is the famous app TikTok. People have jumped started their small business by promoting it through the popular app TikTok. Since the pandemic, the app has gained popularity since people have been stuck at home. TikTok is an outlet where people can make videos for up to a minute and add music in the background.

Shay Mercer, a psychology major at the University of Waterloo and small business owner for Shays Scrunchies, has been one to use TikTok as a way to promote her business.

“I use TikTok to promote my brand. It’s only been recently that I have started posting my scrunchies on there but I have noticed a small increase so far in sales,” said Mercer.

She starting up her business in October just as a hobby. “I started it because I learned how to make scrunchies so I bought some cute fabric, made a couple and posted then and they started selling like crazy.” 

Photos by Shay Mercer: These are some of Mercers collection of scrunchies that she has been hand-making @shays.scrunchies

Anna Winge Breed, a neuroscience and psychology major at the University of Waterloo as well as a small business owner for handmade jewelry and visual artists, has been quite successful selling her hand-made pieces. Just starting in November of last year by just making random art pieces and jewelry she decided to open up a small Instagram page where she could sell her work. 

“It has been relatively easy, as I’ve built up a little local community and done some networking,” said Breed.

Photo by Anna Winge Breed: There are her newest creations that she is selling on her Instagram  @annasellscoolthings

As the popular trend of small business is rising, Breed and Mercer have been using this opportunity to make some side cash for the future. Breed said: “Things have been steady, so in the future, I hope to keep creating and see people receive my work. This is just a little side hustle for me, so I’m not too focused on making it massive, it’s just a nice way to earn money while I’m not studying or at work due to COVID-19.”

Mercer has other plans with her business and what the future will look like. “I hope my business continues to grow and that my business is very successful. I don’t want to stop anytime soon and I would love to be able to make this a second source of income. I want to take my business in a more professional route and focus really hard on making professional-looking posts, product photos and products,” said Mercer.

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