Post COVID-19 pandemic, this world needs startup more than ever for their innovative solutions to pervasive problems, both big and small. But to make sure that this generation, and future generations, of new start-ups, have what it takes to take up major issues, the world also needs CEOs who can enable the next generation of startups.
During these times of global crisis, CEOs are focused on two things – cash flow and runway. Due to some catalytic events such as Covid-19, years of activity is condensed into weeks. Hence, the CEOs across the world need to make time-critical decisions that will make the difference between the company thriving or surviving, all under an incredible intense timeline.
It has been estimated by International Labour Organization (ILO) that nearly 400 million full-time jobs have been lost in the world in the year’s second quarter (April-June 2020) due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The labor organization has also pointed out that job losses in Africa were much more than its earlier estimates, while many more working hours were lost in Asia than earlier predictions.
Many companies are implementing cost-cutting measures, including redundancy, due to the pressures of COVID-19. We can see that world over, companies are looking to ease the transition of departing talent by offering outplacement services, yet with the job market in freefall, we need to offer alternative options for people, one in which they can create their future by building a startup.
This process is tried and tested. Nokia was faced with making over 40,000 job cuts a decade ago. It opened centers in Europe, India and the US to help those faced with redundancy to find a new job, either in the company or outside of it. It had also formed an entrepreneurial stream for employees and named it ‘Bridge’. Ever since it has been formed, Bridge has helped over 1000 startups get their beginning. The bridge scheme is credited for fuelling the rise of the Finnish tech ecosystem, which includes success stories like Supercell and Rovio.
The current economic climate is not propitious for startup success and this has kept many CEOs worried. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. When you look back across history, you will find several large companies that have started during times of economic downturns and that’s not a coincidence. Look at the recent examples of Uber and Airbnb.
These startups are not the only ones – companies like Microsoft, Disney, and IBM were all founded during deep recessions. It is just because times of rapid disruption provide ample opportunities for startups to take advantage. COVID-19 has presented a perfect opportunity and is reshaping every industry, which lowers barriers to entry and provides huge opportunities for startups to tackle new consumer demands.
There are several key factors which can help CEOs to pioneer the alternative options to make this a success: