Less than a quarter of youngsters aged 15-18 interesting in starting their own business
A minority of older teenagers are thinking seriously about starting their own business

Research has highlighted the challenges the UK must overcome to safeguard the next generation of entrepreneurs.  

Just 22 per cent of young people aged between 15-18 are interested in starting their own business, with four in five (78 per cent) young people saying they see themselves working for a well-established company.

Just over half (53 per cent) say they do not want to take any risks when it comes to making money.

Only 34 per cent say that entrepreneurship aims to make a social impact and just 32 per cent believe they would benefit from starting their own business.

Some 56 per cent perceive it as risky, 21 per cent as unstable and 11 per cent as reckless. 

Boys are more positive and confident than girls about entrepreneurship. They feel more likely to benefit from starting their own company (36 per cent versus 28 per cent), and are more confident they wouldn’t make mistakes (41 per cent vs 31 per cent), while girls seem to fear failure more (45 per cent vs 39 per cent).

As a result, boys (14 per cent) are more likely than girls (9 per cent) to think they would start their own business right after finishing school. When thinking about different industries, girls are most attracted to arts and entertainment, while boys are almost twice as likely to focus on science and engineering.

In an attempt to inspire young people, Google has launched Future Founders, a youth entrepreneurship programme based at its community hub for start-ups, Campus London.

Sarah Drinkwater, head of Campus London, says that, no matter what their eventual career, teaching students about entrepreneurship builds critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.

‘These are highly important skills for young people as they prepare to enter the world of work, but can also ensure that the UK’s start-up ecosystem flourishes in the years to come,’ she adds.

‘From British app developers like Nick D’Aloisio, to YouTube content creators like Zoella or social entrepreneurs like GiveMeTap’s Edwin Broni-Mensah, we’ve seen numerous young founders that have a massive impact on their industries before they even turn 25.’

Further reading on young entrepreneurship

See also: Checklist: Is starting a business for you?

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