Fear of risk and lack of opportunity turning off potential European entrepreneurs

Young people in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are far more likely than Europeans to feel positive about starting up a business, a new survey shows.

Potential young entrepreneurs in Europe are being put off from starting up a new venture by a fear of failure.

A study compiled by Youth Business International (YBI) and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor finds that youngsters in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are much more positive when it comes to the potential for business creation.

Only 17.3 per cent of young Europeans think the continent contains good business opportunities and that they have the skills and knowledge to be entrepreneurs. This is compared with 60 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa, 40 per cent in Latin America and 30 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa.

Andrew Davenport, CEO of YBI, believes the report findings are worrying on a European level. He says that with the economy needing new businesses coming to market, more must be done to support future entrepreneurs.

‘This report suggests that young people around the world have the will, but not the means, to become entrepreneurs,’ he adds.

Further results from the study reveals that the proportion of Europeans who think that starting a business is a good idea is far outweighed by young people in the rest of the world.

Fear is cited as the prime reason for not starting up a business, with 41.9 per cent of the 18-35 year-olds questioned revealing this.

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The USA has the highest percentage (12.6 per cent) of new or nascent business owners aged 18-35 with high growth expectations, whistle young people in Asia Pacific and South Asia are most likely to make use of an online trading environment.

Mike Herrington, executive director of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, comments, ‘Building on previous GEM findings, the report shows it is young people who are most active in enterprise – in fact we have learnt that enterprise activity increases from the ages of 18 to 35 (40 in some regions), then begins to tail off.

‘It is critical that we invest in the next generation of young entrepreneurs, at a time of such high youth unemployment in many countries and worrying social disenfranchisement.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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