Millennials lead charge of entrepreneurial spirit

The proportion of young people who harbour desires to start their own business jumped by 12 per cent over the 12 years to 2010.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) finds that there is an ‘unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit’ in the UK with 29 per cent of 20-29 year olds (millennials born between 1980 and 1990) wanting to start their own company (see table below).

Further findings show that the number of British 18-29 year olds in the early stages of setting up their companies has risen by 50 per cent in the last year.

Examining the sectors most affected, the RSA reveals that the retail, hospitality and business services areas have seen the most new business activity.

Percentage by age who want to start their own business
20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
2010 29% 25% 21% 15% 7%
1998 17% 15% 13% 9% 4%
Source: RSA

Compared with 1998 when four per cent of 20-29 year olds planned to start a business in the next 12 months, the figure now stands at seven per cent.

Men (35 per cent) are also more likely than women (21 per cent) to express a desire to start their own business in the coming year.

Adam Lent, director of programme at the RSA, comments, ‘It will be the Millennials’ insight and entrepreneurial spirit which will finally lift us out of the dire economic crisis.

‘Over the coming years we will see younger generations produce new products and services that will generate a big leap in living standards.’

The report argues that the UK is entering a period of ‘creative destruction’ where consumers being to control production themselves.

It cites social media companies, 3D printing, price comparison sites and peer-to-peer marketing sites as examples of the changes.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

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

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