Needless Barriers to Young People Starting a Business

By Gaia Freydefont

Young people in the UK may want to start a business, but incredibly 70% do not know where to start, 68% are afraid to fail and 67% feel they do not know the right people.

That is according to a recent Octopus poll, which discovered that young adults looking to start a business attributed a range of needless barriers potentially preventing them from becoming entrepreneurs.

Generally, young people were least likely to identify paying off student debt as a significant barrier to becoming an entrepreneur.

This is in contrast with those currently attending university, with 62% attributing this factor as a barrier to their pursuit of starting a business.

The comparative indifference towards student debt may be down to the UK’s progressive repayment structure, as there is evidence of university students under the US system being less likely to start a business as a result of student debt.

Women are much more likely to quote fear of failure as a barrier to starting a business compared to men, with 70% of women and 63% of men locating this fear.

This is compatible with findings from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor which observed that fear of failure has persisted as a greater barrier for women than for men.

Interestingly, students attending university were most likely to endorse that fear of failure poses a significant barrier to them starting a business, as 74% claimed this to be an obstacle to their becoming an entrepreneur.

Being unable to secure a loan or credit was found to be the sixth largest obstacle for young people looking to start a business.

Research from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor recorded that finance was thought to be the biggest hurdle for young people perusing entrepreneurship, while people over 30 years old were less likely to mention it as a barrier.

Education seems to be a reason young people feel they have the skills they need to start a business, endorsed by 38% of British young people.

Fifty-one percent of people currently studying at university or studying business (55%) report that their education has equipped them with the skills they require to start a business.

On the other hand, 26% of British people aged 14-25 say that their education has not helped them gather the skills they need to start a business.

Intriguingly, the trend seems to show that while people are attending university, they can safely say that their education is providing them with the knowledge they need to pursue entrepreneurship, but once people have left university, the number of those who say their education has helped them falls dramatically.

This may indicate that some of the knowledge and skill that young people might pick up in the university classroom is lost once they debut in the real world.

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