The pandemic was many things for many people, including some trying times — but it also birthed a new wave of entrepreneurs.

For every 100,000 adults, about 380 of them chose to start their own businesses during the pandemic in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Many of the pandemic entrepreneurs either lost their jobs as the economy took a downturn or just quit for personal reasons.

“I lost my job and I still need to provide for my family, I still have bills to pay. I have a skill that I think I can still use and I’ll just do it myself so that loss of employment was certainly a factor. But we do hear a lot I wanna do this, I love doing this and I wanna turn it into a business,” said Tiffany Ford, state director of North Dakota Small Business Development Center.

In North Dakota, the Small Business Development Center saw the client numbers go up in 2020.

They expect to see a similar trend for their 2021 figures as the great resignation wave continues to blow over the nation.

“In fact, we’ve doubled the amount of clients we have on our list right now compared to our data in 2019,” Ford recalled.

In that year, 91 businesses had started through the center. By 2020, that number had gone up to 115.

One major concern for many entrepreneurs is finding resources to help them get started. According to a Salesforce survey, many of the pandemic entrepreneurs did have personal funding to start with, but not all of them are that prepared.

“There’s a few different places you can find capital for a small business venture. Typically that capital is going to come in the form of a loan from a lender. A lot of businesses or business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs believe there may be grants available, that’s usually not the case,” she said.

Ford said that’s because grants are usually industry-specific making it an unreliable capital source to start a business.

In Ward County, small businesses form an integral part of the local economy and according to census data, about 562 new business applications were recorded in 2020. That’s an increase of 15.4% over the year before.

“Small business really truly is what the backbone of our economy is, you know we’re still– agricultural is still our baseline economy,” said John MacMartin, president of Minot Area Chamber EDC.

MacMartin said there are plenty of resources and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

“The start-up Minot place will be one. We’re offering three sessions of that program this year. Establish and talk to your banker, establish a banking relationship, spend some time with the small business development center, have a business plan,” he said.

That plan, the business development center says is a major bridge they help people cross.

On average, business applications went up by more than 200 percent in North Dakota in 2020, according to federal government data.