The world has changed in many ways over the last twelve months, with many previously thriving businesses struggling to adapt to the new reality. Despite these circumstances and sometimes because of them a number of other sectors have seen dramatic growth as people have changed their behaviour and further embraced the digital world.

Here are some of the sectors expected to thrive over the next year:


There is an argument today that every industry is a tech industry in some way, as technology of some form now underpins much of the economy from small mom-and-pop shops to large multinational conglomerates.

For more than a quarter of a millennium technology is what has underpinned much of the growth in the economy from the invention of the cotton gin and steam engine to the computer chip and the internet. Technology is what makes businesses more efficient, saving money and increasing output, and so it is little surprise that “tech” remains a significant growth industry in 2021.

Some of the biggest winners over the last year has been tech companies that have been able to capitalise on people being stuck at home, with companies like film and TV streaming platform Netflix and video chat platform Zoom seeing some particularly impressive growth.

Now people have adapted to using these services, it is unlikely that they will go completely back to how the world was before, with these companies expected to cement at least some of their gains. Few people expect to be back in the office full time once the world opens up and the idea of flying to a different country seems unthinkable now that we have the technology to hold the same meeting easily and cheaply from home.


The gaming industry is one that has been achieved solid growth for a number of decades now, but the last year has seen the number of gamers swell to unprecedented levels. Many game development companies have already begun a hiring spree to try and keep up with the demand for new games, and

Esports have also had a bumper year. The revenue from esports competitions in 2020, including sponsorship, ticket sales, and broadcast rights exceeded $1bn (£0.75m) for the first time. Nearly half a billion people (450m) watched at least one esports event during 2020 and more than 200m people call themselves fans of the digital sports with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 currently the most popular titles.

Alongside esports, the gambling industry has also performed very well over the last year. Whilst the betting industry was hit by the suspension of live sports around the globe, the industry soon embraced esports as a new revenue stream. Similarly, the online casino industry saw player number soar as millions of people found themselves at home with little real-world entertainment on offer. And affiliate sites like , which highlighted some of the best offers available, saw their visitor numbers and revenues swell.

Online retail

High streets have been struggling for years, with shoppers increasingly choosing the convenience of buying online, and the last twelve months has only accelerated this change. This is good news for ecommerce firms and online retails, which have seen their profits surge.

Amazon may be the world’s biggest warehouse but alternative ecommerce platform providers like Shopify and logistics providers like Ocado have grown into billion-pound companies over the last decade. Smaller ecommerce brands, from jewellery to eyewear, have also found new customers online and the online sector is bustling with up-and-coming brands that could never afford the rent of a high street shop.

The death of the high street is a problem for jobs, but the ability to minimal upstart costs of selling online has meant that the retail sector today may be the most exciting and robust it has been in many years.


The energy sector has been a strong performer for decades, and while the world is increasingly going green and moving away from oil and gas, many of the same energy companies are involved in both fields.

Back in 2018, oil giant BP released a report which predicted that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of energy and increasing five-fold by 2040. If anything, this report underestimated the rapid shift towards greener sources of energy that has taken place.

Climate change has become a headline issue in recent years, and with both public and governmental pressure, the energy industry is changing, and green energy companies are thriving. According to 2020 report by LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, green energy firms already have higher profitability on average than those without green products or services.

Energy consumption does not appear to be subsiding, so the energy sector will remain a highly profitable engine of growth, but as governments around the world drop subsidies for oil and gas companies, it will be the green energy firms that will underpin growth in the years to come.


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