British workers dream of starting their own business

British workers have big aspirations as a new study looks into men and women's dreams of starting a business of their own.

A quarter (75 per cent) of British workers dream of starting their own business one day, according to new research from St. James’s Place Academy.

Some 78 per cent of men and 73 per cent of women aged 25-55, surveyed by Opinium for St. James’s Place Academy, say they have had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

In terms of the most attractive things about starting a business, 51 per cent of respondents think that having more control/setting their own hours would be the best thing.

A further 21 per cent think there is better job satisfaction, 15 per cent believe they could increase their earnings and 11 per cent like the idea of working from wherever they like.

New entrepreneurs find it hard to start

Adrian Batchelor, academy director at St. James’s Place Academy, thinks that it is great news to see women and men equally striving to start their own business.

Batchelor says, ‘Indeed, the entrepreneurial vision seems to be something that unites the sexes rather than dividing them.’

The study finds that younger workers (those aged between 18-35) are more likely to dream of starting their own business  (82 per cent) than older people in employment (compared to the 58 per cent of those aged 55+ who expressed a desire to run their own business).

Londoners are the most entrepreneurially-minded (81 per cent) while the Scottish are the least (69 per cent).

Higher earners are more aspirational (those on £70,000+) with 85 per cent wanting to set up their own business compared to  71 per cent of those earning less than £20,000.

When it comes to perceptions of what might be the hardest thing about running a business, men and women differ slightly. A significant minority of women think that managing the finances would be the hardest thing (30 per cent) compared to the 38 per cent of men who think attracting customers would be the toughest challenge.

Roughly equal numbers of men and women think that long hours (19 per cent) and stress (16.5 per cent) would be the hardest thing to deal with.

Further reading on starting a business


Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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