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Be the Boss

Britons want to be their own boss: a quarter of UK adults have ambitions to start a business… One in nine kick themselves after someone steals their million-pound idea
With more than half a million new businesses being created across the country each year, Studio Graphene has commissioned an independent survey among over 2,000 UK adults to find out just how many people harbour ambitions to start their own company. It found:
  • Over a quarter of UK adults (26%) say they want to start their own business – that equates to 13.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs across the country
    • Millennials (45%) and parents with children aged 18 and under (41%) are particularly likely to hold this desire
  • 13% of people said that in the past five years they have had an idea for a business they wanted to start but abandoned their plans when they found out someone else had already acted on their idea
    • Over a tenth (12%) of the population also said they had seen a new product being advertised in the past year that they had previously wanted to create themselves
So why do people not follow through with their ambitions to launch a business? Studio Graphene’s research revealed:
  • 46% of UK adults said they feel that they lack the skills and knowledge to be an entrepreneur
    • Women (51%) are more likely than men (40%) to feel this way
  • Furthermore, half (50%) of respondents said they would not know how to fund their business if they were to start one
    • This is a particular issue for millennials – 64% of 18-34 year olds said it is a problem
  • And finally, 13% of UK adults said that they want to launch a new technology product but do not know how to go about developing the tech

According to the latest figures, 589,000 new companies were established in the UK last year. It represents a 22% increase from 2012, when 484,000 businesses were formed. In total, over the past five years, the country has witnessed the creation of almost 3.5 million startups.

In light of this wave of entrepreneurship sweeping the nation, London-based digital agency Studio Graphene wanted to uncover how many people not currently running their own business had ambitions to do so – it commissioned an independent, nationally representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults to find out.

The research revealed that 26% of people want to start their own business, and it was even more common among millennials (45%) and parents with children aged 18 or under (41%). In fact, 13% said that in the past five years they have had an idea for a new business but abandoned plans to start it when they found out someone else had already acted on their idea. Furthermore, 12% said they had seen a new product being advertised in the past year that they had previously wanted to create themselves.

In terms of what is holding people back, Studio Graphene’s study showed 46% of UK adults said they feel that they lack the skills and knowledge to be an entrepreneur – women (51%) are more likely than men (40%) to feel this way. On top of this, 50% of respondents said they would not know how to fund their business if they were to start one; a particular issue for millennials (64%). And finally, 13% said that they want to launch a new technology product but do not know how to go about developing the tech.

Commenting on the findings, Ritam Gandhi, director and founder of Studio Graphene, said: “We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people starting their own businesses over the past five years. And today’s research shows that this trend is likely to continue for some time yet, with a significant proportion of the UK having ambitions to become their own boss. This should be celebrated – startups are driving innovation in our day-to-day lives while also contributing to economic growth.

“However, we’ve also uncovered that many people are coming up with ideas for new businesses only to see that someone has beaten them to it. But competition shouldn’t be a deterrent – as they say in business, you must ‘pivot’ and create a new niche for your company. And for those who fear they lack the required skills or know-how to launch a startup, it’s important to remember that there are vast numbers of people they can approach for support to help get their business off the ground; that’s what makes the UK such a great place for budding entrepreneurs.”

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