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Number of UK company directors under 30 breaks 300,000 barrier

17th Oct 17 10:16 am

Number of directors under 30 reaches 311,545 

The number of company directors under the age of 30 has broken the 300,000 barrier for the first time – hitting 311,550 in 2017, up from 295,890 just two years ago – says Moore Stephens, the Top Ten accountancy firm. 

Millennials – also known as ‘generation Y’ or ‘generation start-up’ – is likely to be a major driving force behind the steadily rising trend. 

For twenty-somethings, there is real gravitas associated with founding a start-up. Many say the movement represents a noticeable change from previous generations – for whom graduate jobs at major financial or professional services giants were considered the holy grail. 

However, the increasing number of university-leavers joining the ‘start-up economy’ is likely to be the result of the tough job market faced by the many who graduated in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Another major contributing factor is likely to be improvements to and reliability of technology – with many start-ups relying heavily on digital channels to build brand awareness and reach new customers. 

Reductions in the cost of technology (such as server space) mean that it is now cheaper to launch a tech company than it was a decade ago. Successful start-up entrepreneurs in the UK include: 

  • Henry Patterson – 13-year-old Henry Patterson began developing his children’s lifestyle brand ‘Not Before Tea’ at the age of nine. Henry is currently planning the launch of his second brand, aimed at developing travel products for parents.
  • Steve Bartlett – 23-year-old Steve Bartlett founded Europe’s largest influencer marketing agency, Social Chain, in 2014. Today, it can reputedly make anything trend on Twitter within 30 minutes.  
  • Jack Rivlin – 27-year-old Cambridge graduate, Jack Rivlin, founded online news network ‘The Tab’ whilst still at university. This month News Corp was the main investor in a £4.6m funding round raised by The Tab’s parent company Tab Media. 

 Mark Ayres, partner and Head of Moore Stephens start-up programme, Hatched, says: “The financial crisis in many ways gave rise to ‘generation start-up’.

“Highly intelligent and motivated graduates faced an incredibly tough time finding a job in the years following the recession in 2008.

“Many decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own companies – often ‘challenging’ and ‘disrupting’ the status quo. 

“Of course, a major contributing factor to this has been the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. 

“Technology gives entrepreneurs – no matter who they are or where they come from – instant access to millions of potential customers across the globe.”

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