44% of Brits would like to start their own business

Nearly half of working-age adults in the UK want to start their own business, according to a new report. The study, by pan-European private equity managers Idinvest Partners, quizzed 7,000 adults in the UK, France and Germany.


Some 44% of respondents in the UK expressed a strong desire to start their own business. This compared to 56% in Germany and just 30% in France.


While more Germans overall were hoping to start their own businesses, the UK led the way when it came to financial independence. Half (50%) of UK respondents who were interested in starting their own businesses planned to do so using their own savings, compared to 48% in Germany and 45% in France.


This may be influenced by respondents perception of how likely they would be to be able to get funding for potential businesses. Only 22% of prospective business owners in the UK said they were confident of being backed by the banks. More than a third of those in Germany had similar levels of confidence.


Prospective business owners should think carefully before sinking their life savings into a business venture however. There are now more people in the UK identifying themselves as self-employed than ever before. The number of self-employed has risen by 650,000 to 4.5 million in the past five years, representing 15% of the active workforce.


A record 351,000 new businesses started last year but almost a quarter of a million (246,000) also closed down in the same period. Winding up a company is never easy but it can be even more difficult in instances where savings have been invested into the project.


While those with ideas are keen to develop them into thriving businesses, it is not always possible as any number of stumbling blocks can occur. It is therefore essential for individuals to consider all possibilities, as prior planning should help ensure that the necessary funds are available to deal with any problems if they do occur.


By Phil Smith


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