Despite Brexit, the UK is the best country to start a business

There is a greater optimism from the UK population toward UK economic outlook than European economic outlook, a new study reveals.

Idinvest Partners launches an annual study into the UK’s attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Idinvest’s UK Entrepreneurship Barometer measures the concerns of the next generation of entrepreneurial talent and therefore addresses the health of the UK’s innovation ecosystem.

In its first year, the barometer poses questions about Brexit consequences, personal motivations, fundraising challenges and economic climate.

Despite concerns that Brexit might diminish the UK’s position as one of Europe’s leading business hubs, 44 per cent of the UK population still consider it the best country to start a business, beating rivals Germany by a strong margin.

These findings can be seen as a vote of confidence in the outlook for the UK Economy with 57 per cent of all respondents remaining optimistic for the country’s economic performance over the next 12 months where participants were ten per cent more concerned by the European Economic outlook than that of the UK.

‘While some future entrepreneurs will be considering their options in light of Brexit, the majority continue to see themselves as future business owners and start-up founders,’ says Christophe Bavière, CEO and Benoist Grossmann, managing partner at Idinvest Partners.

‘These findings clearly demonstrate the strong entrepreneurial drive at the heart of the nation and the belief that the UK continues to provide a supportive social and economic environment to foster this talent- a view that we continue to support.

‘Over the past 20 years Idinvest Partners has helped build a dedicated ecosystem for entrepreneurs we look forward to supporting and growing the next generation of British talent.’

‘The British entrepreneurial climate is as hot as ever, we’re a nation of creative thinkers who value hard work, ambition and aren’t too keen on having a boss. It’s disappointing that we’ve chosen to distance ourselves from Europe but I’m not surprised that budding UK entrepreneurs aren’t deterred, I don’t see any reason right now why people shouldn’t be hugely optimistic about starting their own business,’ comments Alex Saint, co-founder and CEO of Secret Escapes (An Idinvest portfolio company).

Here’s how the UK views entrepreneurship at the beginning of 2017.

The future of entrepreneurship in the UK

Over half the UK population are keen to start their own business, with 16 per cent having definite plans to do so over the next year. Which means that currently almost two out of ten people living in the UK will be entrepreneurs by 2018.

Younger generations in particular are very attracted to the idea of becoming entrepreneurs, with the following percentages of the population responding they are keen to become entrepreneurs in the future:
• 76 per cent of 18-24 years old
• 70 per cent of 25-34 years old
• 66 per cent of 35-49 years old
• 48 per cent of 50-64 years old

Against this positive outlook, 60 per cent believe that to start their own business they would need to be at least 30 years old.


Two thirds (62 per cent) of the UK population believe that uncertainty surrounding the Brexit timeline is a constraint to starting a business in the UK.

Participants were ten per cent more concerned about the European Economic outlook than the UK Economic outlook.

In light of Brexit, the top five issues concerning the next generation of entrepreneurs are:
• Access to the single market (30 per cent)
• Fundraising Climate (29 per cent)
• Regulation (23 per cent)
• Investment in infrastructure (23 per cent)
• Consumer sentiment (21 per cent)


Nearly half (47 per cent) say that personal savings would be their most likely source of fundraising. Fundraising is the second greatest area of concern for prospective entrepreneurs that they feel will be negatively impacted by Brexit.

Economic outlook

Half (57 per cent) of the UK population are optimistic about the outlook for the British Economy and 67 per cent of people motivated to start a business are optimistic about the outlook of the British economy.

More than half (59 per cent) of the UK population are pessimistic about the outlook for inflation.

The profile of the British Entrepreneur

The overriding motivations for becoming an entrepreneur in the UK are financial success (48 per cent) and freedom and independence (47 per cent).

Current and aspiring UK entrepreneurs are systematically more optimistic than the overall population on issues such as economic growth (+nine points), employment (+eight points), purchasing power (+ten points), and inflation (+nine points).

The top 3 factors that are preventing UK entrepreneurs from launching their business are financing, ambition and an innovative idea.

Further reading on how to start 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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