Future Founders

In partnership with Octopus Group, The Entrepreneurs Network have commissioned ComRes polling of over 1,500 young people (aged 14-25) to better understand the aspirations, intentions, and motivations of the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Future Founders: Understanding the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs found:

  • Over half (51%) of British young people (aged 14-25) have thought about starting (or already have started) a business. A further third (35%) say they have not thought about it but are open to the idea and just 15% say they have not thought about it and don’t think they ever will.

  • Young people are more likely to consider starting or have started a company if they are attending (65%) or have graduated from university (63%) compared to 18-25 year olds who haven’t attended university (53%).

  • A desire ‘to be your own boss’ (86%) and the ‘freedom to do what I want’ (84%) are the top motivations for 14-25 year olds who have started or thought about starting companies. This is closely followed by ‘being passionate about a particular idea or cause’ (83%) and ‘wanting to make the world a better place and/or make a positive difference’ (76%). ‘Wanting to become wealthy’ is still a motivation for Generation Z (76%) but young people appear to be driven by a desire for meaning, not money.

  • Exposure to entrepreneurship is a key driver of entrepreneurial intention. Respondents who have thought about starting or started a company are more likely to have a family member or friend who is a business owner (57% vs 47% who have not thought about it) and seven in ten (68%) say that having a family member or friend who is an entrepreneur has made them more likely to consider starting a business.

  • 57% of young people could not name an entrepreneur who inspires them. Of those who could, Lord Sugar was the most popular choice (7.9%), closely followed by Richard Branson (6.5%). Elon Musk came third with 2.6%. Bill Gates (2.2%) and Steve Jobs (1.7%) were also named repeatedly. Of those who gave an answer, Kylie Jenner was the most commonly named female entrepreneur (1.1%).