Over 40% of Brits Lack Confidence To Start Their Own Business: Survey

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Web tools provider WebsiteToolTester has conducted new research to discover how many people in the UK want to set up their own business, how much money people think is necessary to make the jump, as well as revealing the key factors that are stopping people from embarking on entrepreneurial ventures.

One in five Brits intend to set up their own business in the next five years. But WebsiteToolTester’s research reveals that almost one in five (19.1%) of those surveyed said they intended to set up their own business in the next five years, with 23% considering themselves as ‘entrepreneurial’. 

Retail, Catering & Leisure industries have been revealed as the hardest to start a new business in, with respondents stating that those industries would be the least welcoming to venture into. This was closely followed by IT and Telecoms and the Finance industry, however, 40% of respondents felt confident that no industry is harder than another to set up a business in. 

Not everyone is as confident though – half (49.3%) of Brits think that it is risky starting a business in the UK today, with 41% of those surveyed saying that they lacked the confidence to start their own business. 

Common barriers that may prevent people from setting up a business include age and gender, with 28% of people saying they would set up their own business if they were younger, and 15% if they were older.

When asking specific age groups, 57% of the older generation (45 years+) said they would start their own business if they were younger, and an incredible 77% of the younger generation (16-44 years) said they would start their own business if they were older. 

It seems that ‘millennials’ are regarded as the best age group to start an enterprise, with over half (51.4%) agreeing that 25 – 34 years old is the optimum age to start a new venture. The best age to start a business is 30 years old according to 19.2% of respondents, closely followed by 19.1% of respondents who thought the optimum age was 25 years old. 

Furthermore, a quarter of people stated they think it’s harder for women to start a business, and 8.5% of female respondents revealed that if they were a man, they’d be more likely to take the leap. These findings reflect the ongoing issues surrounding the gender gap in business owners and entrepreneurship – according to recent statistics only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is female: a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses.

Almost half (46%) of Brits think they would need over £20,000 to start a new business

Having found the confidence to undertake a new entrepreneurial venture, 40% of Brits believe the first thing you need is a website. Relevance to industry and costs are commonly cited reasons for not setting up a website for your newly-founded business – so how much money do Brits think is the right amount to set up a business? And how many of us would expect to self-fund our new ventures?

Almost 1 in 4 (24.5%) revealed that they would not want to invest their own money if they were to start a new business, with a surprising 22% of respondents saying they think it’s possible to set up a new enterprise without any money at all. At the other end of the spectrum, more than 1 in 20 (6.3%) stated that they would need at least between £90-100K to start a new business, and almost half of Brits (46%) think they would need at least £20,000. 

However, government-backed schemes such as the Start Up Loan, which offers entrepreneurs in the UK between £500-£25,000 to help them set up their new businesses, mean that business owners don’t need to have the entirety of their start-up funds to get going. 

“It’s great to see that so many people are keen to nurture their inner entrepreneur, with plans to set up their own business in the next five years. Whilst funding and connections help when setting up a new business, a great idea and enthusiasm need to come first!,” said Robert Brandl, CEO of WebsiteToolTester.  

“It’s interesting to gain insight into some of the reasons people feel like they can’t set up a business, with age and gender appearing to be key barriers for people. More needs to be done so that there is more equality in access to business funding, opportunities and training, so that anyone, regardless of their age, gender or background has a great shot at setting up the business of their dreams,” he adds.  

Key Findings: 

  • One in five Brits intend to set up their own business in the next five years, with 23% considering themselves as entrepreneurial

  • Almost half (46%) of Brits would need over £20,000 to start a new business, with 1 in 20 requiring at least £90,000

  • Age appears to be a common barrier when considering starting a business, with over three quarters (77%) of the younger generation saying they’d start their own business if they were older, and 57% of the older generation saying they’d start up if they were younger

  • 1 in 10 Brits think that men are better entrepreneurs than women, with a further 1 in 4 agreeing it’s harder for women to start a business and 8.5% of females saying they would be more likely to set up a business if they were male


Brand Note 

Since launching in 2009, WebsiteToolTester has helped thousands of individuals and small business owners create their own website, without them having to write a single line of code. It offers free e-books, resources and regular blog posts with tutorials to help users create their own websites. 

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