Thought leadership

New research released today reveals that more Brits than ever before want to start their own business in 2018.  The survey of 1,000 working British people, carried out by award-winning cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent, found that 8% intend to start their own business within the year of 2019.

With over 32 million people currently working in the UK, according to ONS statistics, that means 2.6 million Brits are expected to become their own boss before the start of 2019. FreeAgent conducted a similar poll last year and found that, by contrast, 3.5 million workers were prepared to start their own companies in 2018.

While 8% of Brits aim to become self-employed by the end of 2019, a further 15% said that they aim to work for themselves in the next few years. Over a quarter (26%) said that they want to start their own business at some point, but don’t have any concrete plans to do so.

FreeAgent found that the top three reasons for wanting to start a business were:

  • Better work / life balance (46%)
  • Wanting to choose they type of work that you do (44%)
  • Attaining a greater sense of achievement (35%)

While the top three concerns around setting up a business were:

  • The financial burden of setting up (34%)
  • Lack of government support for freelancers and small businesses (33%)
  • Managing company finances (31%)

A third (33%) of respondents also stated that Britain leaving the European Union puts them off wanting to start their own business.

Northern Ireland was home to the highest number of budding entrepreneurs looking to start their own business by the end of 2019 (18%), followed by London (13%) and the West Midlands (10%). 19% of respondents in Scotland said that they intend to start their own business within the next few years.

Generation Z were more likely to start their own business than any other age group, with 16% 18-24 year olds stating that they intend to start their own business in 2019. 7% of 45-54 year olds intend to start a business within the year, and just 3% of those aged over 55 plan on doing so.

A quarter (25%) of Gen-Zers said that if not this year, they plan on starting their own business within the next few years, compared with 21% of Millenials (25-34 year olds).

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “Starting your own business can be an extremely rewarding, if daunting, move for people to make with their career. The desire for a better work/life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business.”

“It’s so important for any new business owner to make sure they are fully prepared before they start up. One of the main reasons that new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow, so drawing up a detailed business plan and staying on top of your finances is key if you want to make your venture a success.”

“It’s interesting to see that the younger generations are the most driven to become their own boss, especially in the current political climate. While many are wary of starting their own business in light of Brexit, it’s great to see so many Brits taking the plunge and doing so, helping to grow the economy and create jobs.”

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