In today’s uncertain economic climate, aspiring entrepreneurs would be forgiven for thinking that it is too risky and too complicated to start up their own business.
Yet, as Global Entrepreneurship Week takes place, it is clear that this is not necessarily the case – and in fact now could be the perfect time to consider setting up.
To mark this Week, Youth Business International interviewed 100 existing entrepreneurs to find out what they thought of the opportunities for people who are currently thinking of starting up their own business.
Our research shows a surprising amount of optimism despite the economic gloom, and that the recession is actually creating opportunities. Indeed, almost half of UK entrepreneurs (48%) predict that the environment for them will improve in the next two years, and more than a third (35%) rate the current operating environment for their businesses as good or very good. When asked about the next five years, three quarters (74%) expect to see the number of businesses being set up increase.
When asked where the main opportunities for UK start ups will lie between now and 2017, entrepreneurs identify local and regional markets (25%) and global markets (17%) as having the best prospects. That almost two in five cite global opportunities as being of importance reflects our own experiences of helping entrepreneurs set up in more than 30 countries. In our view, there is much potential for growth when start-ups make global connections – be it to establish trading partnerships, replicate successful business models or to swap shared experiences.
Entrepreneurs also highlighted the need to develop social media, digital and IT skills, as well as their abilities in financial management and marketing as important for future growth. Indeed, building entrepreneurs’ skills through mentoring and knowledge sharing is incredibly important – and at the heart of what we want Global Entrepreneurship Week (which is supported by Barclays) to achieve.
With over 3,000 events, the Week has been a brilliant opportunity for entrepreneurs to ‘pass on’ their words of wisdom – and for those seeking answers to their own business questions to find them. It’s great to see there’s so much optimism amongst current entrepreneurs out there – now let’s help the next generation of start-ups be part of the success story.
Andrew is Chief Executive of Youth Business International (YBI)