Britons starting a new business hits record high

Nearly 13% of UK adults are running fledgling businesses, according to research, the highest percentage since the late 1990s

Nearly 13 per cent of adult are in the first three months of starting a new business or are already running a young enterprise, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

This compares to just 8 per cent of adults in 2020, the nadir of the pandemic.

Indeed, more than 70 per cent of Britons believe it is easy to start a business in the UK, but less than one in ten has any intention of doing so.

>See also: 6 best small business ideas for 2022

Although the majority of Britons (51 per cent) believe they have the skills and knowledge to star their own business, and 61 per cent said there were good opportunities for starting a business in their area, 52 per cent cited fear of failure as a reason for not doing so.

Relatively few of those starting or running a new business expect to employ six or more people in five years’ time, the report said.

However, the report found that the percentage of UK adults who are still owner-managers of businesses after more than three-and-a-half years fell to 5.3 per cent last year, compared with 8.2 per cent in 2019.

Fall in self-employment

Oddly, the rise in entrepreneurship contrasted with the fall in self-employment over the same period. Official statistics show a decline of 124,000 in the numbers of self-employed between the second and third quarters of 2021. Since the start of the pandemic, the ranks of the self-employed have fallen by nearly 600,000, the researchers said.

>See also: Number of self-employed falls one fifth since Covid-19

Report co-author Dr Sreevas Sahasranamam said: “It is heartening to see that more than 50 per cent of entrepreneurs in the UK are pursuing new opportunities due to the pandemic and more than 60 per cent are using more digital technologies to sell products and services, indicating flexibility and adaptability.”

Aston Business School surveyed 2,000 adults about their attitudes to entrepreneurship.

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...

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