Research from Entrepreneur First shows that over three-quarters (76pc) of 18-30-year olds lack relatable entrepreneurial role models with similar values to them.
More than half of respondents relate to the typical traits of an entrepreneur: risk-taking, resilient, optimistic. However, they don’t see entrepreneurial giants like Lord Sugar and Richard Branson as figures that motivate them.
The findings come from a global study on ambition, with over 10,000 respondents across UK, France, Germany, India, Singapore and Hong Kong believing they may lack inspirational role models. Even so, they are no less motivated.
In fact, this age group generally see themselves as more ambitious and motivated than their parents’ generation. They also believe they have a greater propensity to change the world for the better than established companies (25pc) and the Government (18pc).
Despite their optimism, less than half believe they will set up their own company. Over a third (41pc) are worried that they’d be worse off financially while 39pc lack the access to capital to work towards their life and career ambitions. Uncertainty is stopping 37pc of respondents and the same proportion fear the possible lack of stability that comes with being an entrepreneur. Over a third have a fear of failure while one in five don’t go for entrepreneurship due to pressure to conform to social conventions around careers and life stages.
It looks to be a sour situation either way, as 37pc don’t believe they are meeting their full potential in their current situation.
“The next generation of talent in the UK is evidently ambitious but is being held back by a lack of role models,” said Matt Clifford, Entrepreneur First’s co-founder and chief executive.
“Lord Sugar and Richard Branson are rightly respected for what they’ve achieved, but if the next generation can’t relate to them, surely it’s time to retire these individuals as the go-to entrepreneurs?”
They have a point – entrepreneurs under 30 are relatively unknown compared to the traditional big players. The only widely recognised ‘younger’ name on the Forbes billionaires list is Kylie Jenner.
Get to know the younger entrepreneurs out there by looking to local incubators and co-working spaces as well as present and previous business award nominees.
Young entrepreneurs: overcoming key challenges in starting your business