Insight into entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are admired by 93% of the population and the South of England has more doers and thinkers than the North.

These are just two of the findings of a major survey into English enterprise by the Small Business Service (SBS).

The SBS Household Survey of Entrepreneurship, conducted every two years, asked over ten thousand people their opinions of enterprise and entrepreneurs. It showed that almost a quarter of adults in England are either involved in entrepreneurial activity (13%) or are thinking about starting a business of their own (11%). Other key findings included:

  • Men are twice as likely to be involved in or thinking about entrepreneurial activity than women.
  • 87% of people thought entrepreneurs who failed at their first attempt should be given a second chance.
  • 64% would encourage friends or relatives to start a business.
  • People from ethnic minorities were more likely to be thinking about starting a business but less likely to actually do it.
  • Around 15% of respondents in London and the South have done something entrepreneurial while a further 15% are thinking about it. This compares with around 10% “doers” and around 9% “thinkers” in the Midlands and up North.

A second survey published by the SBS – the annual Small Business Survey 2003 – revealed that 64% of small businesses sought advice when starting up and 40% introduced a new product or service in the last year. Small businesses also believe that competition is the biggest obstacle to success.

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