We all have been reading the news and know what’s going on with the world it sure the future looks grim for now but for you young entrepreneurs this might be an opportunity. Markets all across the globe are in record declines that are not seen in over 30 years. We’re heading into a long-awaited recession that will shake the world to its core. And for many would-be entrepreneurs out there, this market instability is the perfect excuse to shelve their dreams while they wait for things to blow over.

Well as far as this being the right move to start your business at this time or not it’s never clear and yes in this time a lot more obstacles might occur. Let’s see some companies that are big today but started in a time of recession.

General Electric

Year Launched: 1892
2020 Revenue: $121.6 Billion

Though he officially got his start years earlier (and survived several smaller recessions during the 1880s), Thomas Edison and company launched General Electric right as the nation was heading into the Panic of 1893, a period of 16 months where business activity dropped nearly 40% across the nation. Nevertheless, the company persisted and went on to be one of the original 12 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, where it remained for over a century.


Year Launched: 1911
2019 Revenue: $79.5 Billion

Launched as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) by Charles Flint in June of 1911, IBM got its start selling commercial and business machines right in the middle of a long two-year panic. While industries everywhere saw double-digit declines in activity, CTR was able to not only survive but thrive, eventually changing its name to IBM, and becoming the leader in technology that would support the digital revolution, making billions along the way.


Year Launched: 1939
2019 Revenue: $58.4 Billion

While considered small compared to The Great Depression, the recession of 1937–1938 would end up being one of the worst recessions of the 20th Century, with GDP decline reaching nearly 19%. Nevertheless, it was during this recession that recent Stanford graduates William Hewlett and David Packard decided to formulate a plan for their new electronics company, Hewlett-Packard. Still feeling the sting of the recession, the duo incorporated their business on January 1, 1939, and would go on to build one of the worldwide powerhouses in computers.


Year Launched: 1975
2020 Revenue: $131.7 Billion

In 1973, an oil crisis coupled with a stock market crash led to a 16-month recession where the GDP took its worst hit in nearly 20 years. However, this decline did not stop Bill Gates and Paul Allen from developing their new computer software business Microsoft, which launched on April 4, 1975, literally just days after the recession was considered officially over. Within a decade, the company grew substantially and launched an IPO in 1986 that created 3 billionaires and 12,000 millionaires in the process.


Year Launched: 1971
2019 Revenue: $65.4 Billion

Having developed the concept of fast, efficient, reliable door-to-door cargo delivery as part of a school project while at Yale, FedEx Founder Fred Smith eventually launched the business right on the tail end of the Recession of 1969–1970. Though this recession was relatively short-lived and mild, Smith faced major challenges trying to sell a new, unheard of type of service to a business community that was more hesitant than usual to spend money on untested vendors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *