The majority (69 per cent) of young people in Wales have or would consider starting their own business but many say a lack of funding and practical experience is putting them off, according to new research by YouGov commissioned by The Prince’s Trust and LDC.
The research, which polled over 2,000 18-30 year olds across the UK on their future ambitions, found that young people in Wales see a lack of funding (57 per cent), a ‘fear of failure’ (50 per cent) and a lack of practical business experience (46 per cent) as the most common barriers to becoming their own boss.
Getting practical advice on starting a business (69 per cent), financial support (68 per cent) and improving their own self-confidence (45 per cent) were said to be some of the most important considerations in helping them get their idea off the ground.
The research coincides with the launch of Backing Youth Ambition, a new partnership between The Prince’s Trust and LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, to support youth enterprise across the UK.
The three-year initiative aims to help over 1,200 young people across the UK explore and launch their own businesses through start-up grants and additional funding for The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise Programme. LDC is also providing support through fundraising, volunteering and mentoring activity across its regional offices, employees and investee companies.
Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of the Prince’s Trust, said:
“Starting a business can transform a young person’s life and is a brilliant way for them to fulfil their potential and gain a greater stake in our society. Since 1983, The Trust has helped more than 88,000 young people to realise their ambition of running their own business, but it’s clear from this research that there are many more out there who feel this is something that is out of their reach. Together with LDC, we will help to break down the barriers these young people are facing and give as many of them as possible the confidence and opportunity to become their own boss.”
Dewi Hughes, Head of Cardiff at LDC, said:
“There are so many bright young people in Wales working across a range of industries. However, there are many factors that are holding them back from reaching their full potential. For the Welsh economy to thrive, we need a constant stream of young talent coming through the ranks, and it’s therefore crucial that we back their ambition and provide them with the support they need to start their own venture.
“The Prince’s Trust has been helping young people in Wales get the support they need to get into education, training or employment for decades. We’re committed to backing ambition which is why we’re supporting them in helping them to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Wales.”
The research also found that more than half (54 per cent) of young people in Wales think one of the best ways to start a business is in their current field of expertise, whilst more than three quarters (82 per cent) agree the secondary school system should educate young people about starting their own business.
Some of the main drivers that would encourage young people to think about starting their own business were having greater flexibility and control over working hours (66 per cent) and being their own boss (59 per cent) with only two fifths (41 per cent) saying ‘get rich’ would be a motivation.
Despite a new wave of entrepreneurs making their fortune from reality television and social media, research shows that established entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson remain an important role model for young people, with (36 per cent) of respondents stating they would most aspire to be like him as an entrepreneur opposed to the so-called Instagram generation of business celebrities like Kylie Jenner (7 per cent).