Youth unemployment is one of the biggest issues this country is facing; The latest parliamentary statistics show 738,000 young people were unemployed in April-June 2015 (17.9%).
Lack of paid employment and experience has led many young people to consider going into business for themselves, so OnePoll asked 500 16-21 year olds their thoughts on becoming a youth entrepreneur.
62% of these young people said they have thought about starting their own business. Nearly a third of those who have thought about it have parents who own their own business (32%).
Young people whose parents have their own business are also more positive about the idea. Nearly half said they thought it would be achievable (49%) as opposed to only 32% whose parents aren’t business owners.
As part of their education, 63% said they had taken part in some kind of ‘enterprise day’ and 60% agreed that it was helpful and that they learned a lot from it.
Many students even go on to study business at university. In 2012/2013, over 42,000 people had enrolled onto an undergraduate business course.
There are a number of barriers that young people perceive as blocking their entrepreneurial dreams.
A huge 65% of 16-21 year olds said they wouldn’t know where to go for financial backing or a start-up loan and 58% said they just wouldn’t know where to start.
Other perceived barriers included:
Being wary about the current economic climate (42%)
Not knowing anything about self – employment tax (37%)
Not knowing if their idea was good enough (30%)
In terms of actually starting a business of their own, young men are more optimistic than young women. 43% said they think it’s achievable as opposed to only 33% of females who think they could do it.
Most wanted Business Mentors
Many young people also expressed an interest in having a business mentor when they first start out and a massive 40% said they would want Alan Sugar to be their mentor.
The other top 9 desired mentors included:
Richard Branson (28%)
Mark Zuckerberg (24%)
Steve Jobs (22%)
Peter Jones (18%)
Simon Cowell (18%)
Deborah Meaden (16%)
Duncan Bannatyne (12%)
Theo Paphitis (11%)
Kim Kardashian (9%)
*Unemployment stats updated as of 12th August 2015