A fifth of UK adults want to start a business in 2021

A fifth of UK adults want to start a business in 2021

Posted: Tue 5th Jan 2021

One in five adults in the UK want to start a business in 2021 – but 12% aren't sure where to start.

Our Start-up Appetite report, conducted in partnership with Start Up Loans, reveals that young people in particular want to go down the entrepreneurial route this year.

Indeed, 34% of people aged 18 to 34 want to launch an independent enterprise, compared to 28% of 35 to 54-year-olds.

Early-stage support for entrepreneurs

While over a third (37%) of all adults think it's easier to start a business now than it was 10 years ago, many need early-stage support to turn their idea into a reality.

Aside from the 12% who don't know where to begin, 19% say they need more training before taking the plunge. A further 8% say they're putting off their plans until things become more certain.

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said that, while these findings show that the UK's start-up spirit is strong, it's clear that there's an "unmet need" to provide support and education at an early stage.

"The year 2020 will go down on record as the one in which we all made a mindful decision to support small businesses. Even Google searches doubled," she said.

"While that's unsurprising given the economic context, the brilliant thing is that considering everything we've heard about how the business community has fared, good and bad, there is still a relentless passion for enterprise even if there is a little more caution than there used to be."

Side hustle or full-time business?

Over half (54%) of those who want to launch their own business would prefer to set up an evening or weekend side hustle, with almost a quarter (24%) wishing to start a full-time enterprise – a figure that rises to 57% among those with active plans to launch in 2021.

Health, beauty, exercise and wellbeing are the sectors prospective entrepreneurs are most likely to look at, with manufacturing, tech and business services also seeing encouraging levels of interest.

The most common reason for wanting to start a business, which 37% of respondents agree with, is a long-standing desire to do so. Some 34% say it's because they want to top up their income, while 33% believe they've spotted an opportunity worth acting on.

The Start-up Appetite report, which was conducted in partnership with Start Up Loans, was undertaken by strategic insights firm Opinium between 16 and 18 December 2020. It polled 2,000 people in the UK aged 18+.

StartUp 2022

The UK's biggest start-up show of the new year is back! Attend StartUp 2022 on 21 January and enjoy access to over 100 inspirational entrepreneurs and experts to help you start and grow a business.

Register here

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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