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Britain is an engine of small business growth

14th Mar 18 9:42 am

Study shows 

Setting up your own business is a young person’s game as new research reveals that the average age Brits decide to go it alone is just 27. 

The analysis by the UK’s number one cloud accounting software company Xero found that entrepreneurial spirit is getting younger, revealing 20 as the age that young business owners (18-34 year olds) decided they would like to set up shop compared to those aged over 45 who had the same lightbulb moment at 35. In fact, almost 7 in 10 (69%) new businesses set up in the past five years have been started by those aged between 18-34. 

The survey of 1,000 small business owners also found that eight out of 10 start-ups begin life with friends or relatives of the founder being roped in to help out, with the majority of business owners preferring to call on their nearest and dearest than risk taking on unsuitable candidates.

The research marks the launch of Xero’s #behindyourbusiness campaign to encourage other budding business owners to take the plunge, as it reveals that 82 per cent of small business owners say they are now running the business they always dreamed of. Being their own boss is the best thing about owning a business (51%), followed by being able to control work/life balance (38%) and being able to get things done the way they want them to (35%).

Nine in ten small business owners say setting up shop is one of the accomplishments they are most proud of, as half liken the buzz to the feeling of buying a first home (48%). One in five compare it to the birth of their child (19%) and some even to their wedding day (16%). The research found that entrepreneurs are driven by a need for more flexibility (36%) and to take control (35%), while other reasons include not enjoying working for somebody else (23%) and wanting to make their family proud (19%). 

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