Press release

Almost half of Londoners are thinking about starting a business in 2024

Almost half of Londoners are thinking about starting a business in 2024
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Mon 8th Jan 2024

The percentage of working age Londoners thinking about starting a business in 2024 is 44 per cent, seven per cent higher than the national average.

The annual Start Up Ambition Report, now in its third year, from small business support platform and membership community Enterprise Nation as part of the StartUp UK programme with Monzo Business, found that figure rises to more than half (54%) amongst young adults aged between 18 and 24 across the UK -- a rise of six per cent on last year.

Another 20 per cent of Londoners said 2024 was not the year, but still expected to start a business in the future, with six per cent saying they already had a business.

With the cost-of-living crisis causing financial difficulties and job insecurity for many, the research found that a third (30%) said they were starting-up to supplement their full and part-time income.

But despite this, the main driver to start is still 'fulfilling a dream to become their own boss' or making money out of a skill or hobby (40%).

Interestingly only two per cent said they felt compelled to launch a business because they had lost their job, with another two per cent saying they were starting-up because of job insecurity in 2024.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is seen both as a challenge for being employed and an opportunity for entrepreneurship. The research found seven per cent said AI had opened up business ideas and opportunities in London, two per cent higher than the national average, while two per cent said they were worried it would replace their job, two per cent lower than the national average.

The most popular sector to start-up in 2024 was arts and crafts (17%), food and drink (11%) and creative and media (9%). For younger UK entrepreneurs, the top sector was fashion (13%) or creative and media like graphic design (12%). A quarter of those over 50 said they wanted to start an arts and crafts business, suggesting a career-changing move for this age group.

Emma Jones, CBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:

"London is the start-up capital of the UK. Starting a business is now an established part of people's long term career aspirations. While wages stagnate and bills continue to rise, people are taking their financial futures into their own hands.

"This is a trend that will only continue on an upwards trajectory as access to technology, business support, awareness of the benefits of entrepreneurship and fresh opportunities increases year-on-year.

"People are side hustling, they're self-funding their business idea by holding down a day job -- or sometimes even jobs.

"It's our mission to ensure start-up and ongoing business advice is made available to everyone that needs it in 2024 and beyond. A booming pipeline of fresh new businesses supports future economic growth, increases innovation and adds a healthy helping of representative diversity to the UK's small business community. We're ready to support them to develop the skills they need to thrive."

Enterprise Nation's annual StartUp Show sees 2,000 people line-up to learn the basics of starting a business in London on January 27, 2024. The epic show, now in its tenth year, is backed by leading brands, including Monzo Business, Google, TikTok, GS1 UK, Vodafone Business, Hiscox, and Square.

Side hustle v full time turnover

The report found the average turnover expectation for those starting a side hustle was £5,352 in the first year. But women's remuneration expectations were 22 per cent lower than those of their male counterparts.

Turnover expectations for female-founders of full-time businesses in the first year were a staggering £10,000 lower than firms founded by men. Male founders expected to bring in £35,106 in the first year of a full-time business, compared to £25,213 for women.

Generational ambition

More than half (69%) of younger adults aged 25 to 30 said they would start as a side hustle, an increase of 14 per cent on last year. But interestingly that's a broadly constant picture with 66 per cent of 18 to 24s, 65 per cent of 31 to 40-year-olds and 59 per cent of 41 to 50-year-olds who would start alongside jobs or caring responsibilities.

Start-up support

Asked if they knew about of any Government start-up support, a resounding 70 per cent of Londoners said they were not aware of any. When prompted, 38% said they felt Start Up Loans would be relevant for them, and a fifth (20%) said they would value a scheme like Help to Grow: Management. A resounding 35 per cent said none of them sounded useful for their start-up journey.


Notes to editors

About the research

An online survey was conducted by independent market research agency Walr, among 1,012 adults aged 18+ in the UK. The research fieldwork took place between 5th -- 12th December 2023. Walr is a member organisation of the Market Research Society and abides by all codes of practice.

About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a business support platform and provider delivering support to more than 800,000 small businesses every year. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses -- through expert advice, events, acceleration support and networking.

Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by British entrepreneur Emma Jones CBE, also co-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. She is the author of several best-selling business books.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
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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