Over Half of British Youth Looking to Start a Business

By Gaia Freydefont

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well amongst British youth, with more than half having considered starting or indeed already starting a business.

An additional 35% have not thought about starting their own business but are open to the idea and a mere 15% say they have not thought about starting their own business and don’t think they ever will.

This research is compatible with previous findings which noted that the British youth are more likely to start up a business than their German and French peers.

This was made evident by the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which observed that the total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity rate in the UK amongst 18-24 year-olds was twice the rate than in France and Germany.

Although many young people want to start a business, the majority have not yet, as a mere 8% of 14-25 year-olds have actually started a business.

Within this figure lies a significant gender divide, as 11% of young men have actually started a business, while just 6% of young women have actually started a business, representing the fact that men are just about twice as likely to actually pursue entrepreneurship compared to women.

Although men are clearly more likely to actually start a business, a similar percentage of men and women have thought about starting a business, as 45% of men and 41% of women have considered the idea.

Similar gender disparities in entrepreneurial activity were found within the broader adult population (18-64 years old), as 10.5% of men and just 5.2% of women were recorded by the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to have started a business.

This gender divide represents a huge amount of unexplored entrepreneurial potential, and this was highlighted in the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which observed that minimising the gap between male and female entrepreneurs could result in a staggering £250 billion in Gross Value Add to the UK economy, comparable to 4 years of economic growth.

As the youth across Britain get older, they tend to become increasingly eager to start a business.

This is made clear by the fact that the 33% of 14–17 year-olds who have considered starting a business grows to 60% as they reach 22-25 years old.

Together with this, the proportion of young people who do not think they will ever consider starting a business reduces from 20%, at 14-17 years old, to 13%, at 18-25 years old, indicating that young people tend to become more open about the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.

Education has an important influence on young people’s tendency to start a company, as those who are attending or have already graduated from university are more likely to have considered starting a company in comparison to young people who have not attended university.

Further, university students and graduates are over twice as likely to have actually started a business as opposed to young people who did not attend university.

It is clear that the generation to come is likely to have some exciting startups and businesses in store, as the future founders of Britain come to their own.

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