Brits harbour dreams of starting a business

Some 1.3 million Britons dream of starting their own business in the next 12 months.

In terms of what sector of business they would go for, people are choosing to follow their hearts and launch bakeries, cafés and craft shops.

Some 5 per cent say that they would set up a shop, with ambitions ranging from books and music to mobility scooters and Wiccan products, according to a study by Direct Line for Business.

The most popular choice is a café or tea room, selected by one in 20 respondents (6 per cent), while arts and crafts, either from home or in a shop, is cited by 2 per cent of Brits.

Restaurants, business consultancies and animal-related professions are all commonly cited, showing that there is no limit to the professional passions of the British public.

More broadly, the most popular start-up sector relates to food, with almost one in five of those wanting to start a company (18 per cent) stating they would like to launch a cake shop or café.

This is followed by retail start-ups, with 16 per cent citing businesses like craft shops as their ideal venture.

Funding is a barrier

Lack of capital is cited as the biggest reason that people don’t want to start their own venture (51 per cent). Funding is not the only barrier; almost a third admit they wouldn’t know where to begin planning a new business.

Lack of direction is more apparent among women with nearly double (43 per cent) citing this as the main barrier compared to men (20 per cent).

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business says, ‘Our research highlights the underlying desire among people to start up their own ventures. It’s clear Brits are looking to turn their passions into professions, as cooking and crafting are deemed more popular than businesses that focus on technology for example.

‘Funding is key to starting up, but good advice and support is just as crucial to help new start-ups launch their business and build for the future.’

Further reading on starting a business

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Starting a business