Young entrepreneurs twice as ambitious as older counterparts

Appetite for growth highest among small business owners under 35, according to a report from Albion Ventures.

The Albion Growth Report 2015 is based on a survey of 1,018 British SMEs on the challenges and opportunities they face in growing their business.

It suggests the younger generation is more likely to be looking for aggressive growth than those who are starting out on their own later in life.

More than four in ten (42%) entrepreneurs under 35 (millennials) are actively seeking equity finance – compared to an average of 35% across all age groups.

Additionally in the past 12 months 29% of millennials have actively looked for growth funding – twice the average.

There is also a shift in attitude among the young entrepreneurs around how they would use any finance raised. Under-35s are more likely to seek finance to invest in R&D (14% versus 5%), hire new staff (13% versus 3%) and to bring about a change of ownership (13% versus 6%).

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The research also suggests the younger generation are more inclined to take risks with their personal finances – either through necessity or ambition. Almost one-quarter (23%) have used their own credit card to fund their business. Only 5% of older entrepreneurs have taken this step.

And 15% of millennial entrepreneurs have taken the more extreme step of mortgaging property to raise funds – whereas only 7% of 45-54-years-olds have done this.

Patrick Reeve, managing partner at Albion Ventures, called the younger generation “by far the most optimistic and ambitious about the future”.

“This pro-growth sentiment is excellent news for the UK economy as the under-35s will become increasingly influential over the years to come,” he continued.

“The greater willingness of younger business leaders to use equity rather than banks to secure the funds they need suggests we’re shifting towards a more entrepreneurial model as seen in the US.”

Further reading: Business leaders honoured at Diversity Awards

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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