Brits embrace entrepreneurial spirit

Becoming our own boss is turning into an increasingly popular ambition for Brits – and not just because people want to make more money.

According to an Enterprise Nation poll, 35 per cent of people in the UK are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur this year, up from 30 per cent in 2023.

Meanwhile, a further 23 per cent said that while they don’t plan to start a business in 2024, they still expect to do so at some point in the future.

At the same time, we’re seeing figures showing that more and more businesses are being established in the UK.

For example, the latest NatWest and Beauhurst New Startup Index showed that in 2023, a record 900,000 companies were created. That’s 12 per cent up on the figure for 2022.

When you look at the overall economic picture, with sluggish growth, high inflation and high interest rates, you might think that many would be put off taking a risk, and instead opting for the relative safety and security of full-time employment.

But there are many factors at play here, beyond financial concerns.

Many people see setting up a business not just as a means of supplementing their income in a tough economic climate, but also as a way of improving their overall quality of life.

As the Enterprise Nation study revealed, 24 per cent of aspiring entrepreneurs want to fulfil their dream of becoming their own boss, while 38 per cent want to start a business so they can monetise a skill or hobby.

Of course, many of the new businesses being set up will be fairly modest affairs, with the entrepreneur running a side hustle rather than a full-time source of income.

But as Henry Whorwood of Beauhurst puts it, the increase in the number of businesses being set up “speaks to the growth in the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

“While not all companies become startups or go on to become scale-ups, the UK has a strong track record of helping new businesses start and succeed,” he said.

“The strength in the pipeline should cheer investors and economists alike.”

Small businesses are often referred to as the lifeblood of the UK economy, and it’s easy to see why.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises accounted for three-fifths of private sector employment last year, and about half of its turnover.

So at a time when the economy is struggling to grow, it’s hugely reassuring to see so many people embracing the idea of entrepreneurship.

But starting up on your own doesn’t mean you should ignore the help that’s out there.

Seek professional advice so you can be confident that you’re managing your finances well, and complying with regulations that affect you, such as tax laws.

By getting guidance from the relevant experts, you’ll be in a position where you can hit the ground running and get on course to achieve your objectives.

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