• One in three interested in running their own business;
• One in eight planning to start up in next three years;
• Young adults the keenest on entrepreneurship (one in two), but least likely to make the leap;
• Perceived financial risk and lack of funding holding many back;
• Business reality TV shows playing part in fuelling entrepreneurial appetite.
A YouGov survey, commissioned by Extrasys, a managed IT service, has shown that one in three of 2,060 Britons surveyed (34%) is interested in running their own firm. Nor is this an expression of idle intent - the research reveals that 37% of those who expressed an interest plan to launch their own business in the next three years (one in eight of total sample).
Leaving aside the estimated 3.2m self-employed, if those figures are applied to the current British working population, it could mean an explosion of over 3 million business start-ups by the end of 2009 – well in line with Chancellor Gordon Brown’s vision of fostering an entrepreneurial economic environment.
Despite the apparent enthusiasm for going it alone however, a sizeable number who said they would like to start their own business indicated they would not attempt it in the next three years. The main barriers cited by survey respondents were financial risk (36%) and lack of start-up funds (36%). Lack of business know-how was cited by 26% of respondents, while 23% preferred the security of their current employment or thought that timing wasn’t right for them.
Younger Britons (aged 18-29 years old) were most receptive to the idea of running their own business with 52% confirming their interest. However, financial concerns meant that this was the group least likely to do so - 56% saw lack of start-up funds as a barrier, 51% identified financial risk, while 22% felt held back by high levels of personal debt.
Simon Arbuthnot, general manager of Extrasys, commented: “In recent years, technology has removed many of the barriers for getting a business off the ground. A PC, standard software and a broadband connection are often all that are needed to manage business plans, accounts, and other aspects of the company.”
He continued: “However, it’s clear that more must be done to tackle some of the other perceived barriers, such as providing better access to capital and improved education on the support and advice available. What’s particularly concerning is that we have a generation of young, aspiring entrepreneurs who currently feel unable to pursue their ambitions.”
Overall, entrepreneurial spirit was strongest in London, where almost one in two respondents (42%) expressed interest in starting their own business.
Interestingly, the survey also revealed that business reality TV programmes have played a part in fuelling entrepreneurial appetite. This trend was particularly marked in the youngest age group. A high proportion of respondents aged 18-29 years old stated that shows like Dragons’ Den (30%) and The Apprentice (24%) have increased their interest in starting a business. Across all respondents, one in six (16%) had been inspired by Dragons’ Den and one in eight (12%) by The Apprentice.
Arbuthnot said: “Television is often blamed for all kinds of society’s ills, so it’s good to see that some shows are increasing people’s desires to positively contribute to the country’s economic well-being.”
Extrasys (extrasys.com) enables businesses to work anywhere by delivering technology as a tailored service. The service can accommodate any software application and host them on secure and remote servers providing corporates with scaleable and faster technology. By understanding that business needs change over time, Extrasys (extrasys.com) are able to adapt to adjustments within the business including user numbers, locations and applications.
Established in 2000 by leading IT Consultancy firm Wharf IT and acquired in 2005 by Bailey Teswaine which is a leading independent ICT systems integrator and are a wholly owned subsidiary of NG Bailey, Extrasys enables businesses to achieve greater profitability by allowing them to more effectively channel resources and focus on their core activities through greater technological accessibility, flexibility, security and efficiency.
Founded in May 2000, YouGov is a professional market research agency pioneering the use of the Internet and information technology to collect higher-quality in-depth data for market research and public consultation.
YouGov has pro-actively recruited respondents from all ages, socio economic groups and regions of Britain. The sample for each survey is carefully selected and controlled so that it is representative of the adult population as a whole - or the specific audience that the survey is designed to measure.
About The Survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,060GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 17th October 2006. The survey was carried out online and is unweighted.
For more information, please contact:
Kelly Murray, GolinHarris
T: +44(0)20 7067 0470 / E: kmurray[.]golinharris.com.