Study finds the Recession led to a Boom in Young Entrepreneurs

Posted on 5 October, 2014 by Kirsten Kennedy

A study, conducted jointly by small business network Enterprise Nation and research firm Duedil, has found that the number of young people starting up their own businesses grew by more than 70 per cent between 2006 and 2013.

a group of attractive young adults in business wear

In real terms, this means that the number of new businesses launched by under-35s rose from 145,401 in 2006 to 247,049 in 2013 – the recessionary period during which many young people found it difficult to find a job.

Furthermore, the research shows that co-founding is now less popular with young people than it was in 2006. At that time, around 66 per cent of young entrepreneurs chose to launch a business with a partner, but this fell to just 42 per cent by 2013.

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones believes the study showcases a greater determination by young people to follow their own ideals.

She says; “These statistics show that younger generations are no longer pinning all their hopes on finding the perfect job.

“They are taking their destiny into their own hands and creating a business around a skill, a passion or a hobby.”

The study backs up findings by UnLtd regarding youth entrepreneurship in Britain, which found that over 55 per cent of 16 to 25 year olds would ideally like to set up their own business rather than using a more “conventional” method of getting into work.

In addition, research by Santander found that around 80,000 UK university students have used their time in higher education to establish a business, with more than a quarter of this number planning to expand this small business into a full time career upon graduating.

While many would expect this entrepreneurial boom to be focused most heavily in London, it is in fact in regional areas where the biggest percentage rises in young founders were seen. North Ayrshire, the Western Isles, West Dunbartonshire and Midlothian all indicated that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong north of the border, with rises of 169 per cent, 150 per cent, 144 per cent and 117 per cent respectively.

Welsh areas such as Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil also highlighted a boom in young entrepreneurship in outlying areas, with growth of 161 per cent and 113 per cent. London was the only place in England noting a hugely significant increase in young entrepreneurs with 110 per cent more businesses being established by young people.

While this is all very positive, entrepreneur network Shell LiveWIRE and Youth Business International found that, although around 18 per cent of 18-34 year olds have both the ideas and the drive to launch a business, fewer than 4 per cent of this number manages to create a profitable firm. It seems the problem, then, is not a lack of entrepreneurs, but a lack of support for young people in the ever-changing business world.

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