Monday, 12 August 2019

Dear <<First Name>>​,​​
Today we've released an important report uncovering the entrepreneurial ambitions of Britain's next generation.

Authored by Sam Dumitriu, in partnership with Octopus Group, and based on a survey of 1,549 young people, Future Founders: Understanding the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs reveals that 51% of British young people aged 14-25 have thought about starting (or have already started) a business. A further third (35%) are open to the idea and just 15% rule it out altogether.

(If you're in a rush we have a Twitter thread here with some of the main findings).

The main barrier to starting a business was “not knowing where to start” (70%). Just two in five (38%) 14-25 year olds say that their education has given them the skills they need to start a business, compared to a quarter (26%) who say it has not. Half of respondents currently studying at university (51%) or currently studying business (55%) say that their education has given them the skills they need to start up – significantly more likely than non-university graduates, or those studying other subjects. However, this falls to 39% when students graduate, suggesting that some knowledge isn’t transferring from the classroom to the real world.  

Women make up just a fifth of UK entrepreneurs, and the survey suggests a lack of role models could also present a significant barrier. 57% of young people could not name an entrepreneur who inspires them. Of those that could, 7.9% named Lord Sugar, 6.5% said Richard Branson, and 2.6% named Elon Musk. Kylie Jenner was the most commonly named female entrepreneur (just 1.1%). Further – half of young men could name an entrepreneur who inspires them, but only a third (35%) of women could do the same. Of the entrepreneurs who were named, 85% were male. 

Past research shows that role models have a greater impact when they are relatable. Closing the gender gap and drawing on a wider range of entrepreneurial talent will require us to champion a more diverse range of entrepreneurs.

But we may also need to change attitudes towards failure if young women – and men – are to create the firms of the future. According to our report, 71% of women and 63% of men cite fear of failure as a barrier to starting up a business.

It has already got a fair amount of press coverage:

FT Sifted
"A member of Gen Z, Jack Cornes started his first business at age eight, selling vegetables from his grandmother’s garden. By the time he was 14 he had founded an online t-shirt business that was shipping to the US and Australia. Now, age 21, he has just raised £210,000 for his six-person startup HausBots, which makes climbing robots that automate the painting of walls..." Read Maija Palmer's whole article here.

The Times
"Young men are almost twice as likely as young women to have started a business, despite similar levels of desire to do so, according to research that highlights barriers to entrepreneurship..." Read James Hurley's whole article here.

City A.M.
"Every entrepreneur has a story of past failure that they’re not afraid to share. I’m no exception. Back in 2010, when Octopus began investing in film production companies, we turned down the opportunity to invest in a small British film called The King’s Speech, which went on to gross £250m worldwide and win four Oscars. Instead, we invested in Burke & Hare, an “edgy” horror-comedy that lost money at the box office and was labelled “unpleasant drivel” by Hollywood Reporter..." Read Simon Rogerson's whole article here.

It would be amazing if you could share any thoughts you have about the report with the hashtag #FutureFounders. On Twitter (@tenthinktank & @OisforOctopus), Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Our Next Events

Brain Business Jobs in the UK: A European Benchmark

14 August 2019
8am to 10am
NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, Regents House, 40-42 Islington High Street, London, N1 8XB
Find out more

Hear the brilliant and prolific academic Dr Nima Sanandaji speaking at what will be an optimistic lecture on knowledge-intensive jobs in the UK. These are the jobs that are crucial for income and productivity growth. Just let me know if you want to attend and feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.

Made in the UK – Navigating Britain's Visa System

 29 August 2019
8.45am to 10.30am
Kingsley Napley LLP, Farringdon London
Find out more
Aimed at the founders of fast-growing businesses. 
Opening speakers are: Joshua Wöhle, Co-Founder of SuperAwesome, Dr Miguel Martinez, Co-Founder of Signal AI, and Nicolas Rollason, Partner and Head of Kingsley Napley’s immigration practice.
Philip Salter
Founder, The Entrepreneurs Network

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