The UK's young entrepreneurs have set their sights on big growth for 2017 despite Brexit uncertainty

 
Rebecca Smith
Younger business owners said they feel Brexit will hinder their access to new markets
Younger business owners said they feel Brexit will hinder their access to new markets (Source: Getty)

Young entrepreneurs expect ambitious growth for their companies this year, despite feeling uncertain about the impact of Brexit.

According to Albion Ventures' fourth annual growth report, exploring the factors affecting growth among 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses, two-thirds of entrepreneurs aged under 35 predicted their business will grow over the year.

And 18 per cent are feeling particularly optimistic, predicting "dramatic growth".

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Older generations were similarly confident on predicting their business would grow in the year ahead (61 per cent), while seven per cent expected to see significant growth.

That's despite Brexit playing on the minds of those surveyed - over half of younger entrepreneurs think it will hinder their ability to access new markets. Fewer among the older age groups did; 41 per cent.

And while those are concerns over how and when Brexit plays out, for now businesses have their eyes on expansion. Of the younger entrepreneurs, 59 per cent planned to expand into new markets this year, while 37 per cent of older business owners did.

Reflecting the different stages of growth their respective companies might be at, younger business owners were more than twice as likely to raise external finance in the past year, but three times as likely to see their applications rejected, which Albion put down to "inexperience and lack of a track record".

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Patrick Reeve, managing partner, at Albion Ventures said:

Long-term economic out-performance relies on ensuring the next generation of business owners has a strong pro-growth mind set and this is clearly borne out from this year’s report findings.

Notwithstanding their concerns about Brexit, most young entrepreneurs have ambitious growth objectives and if successful, this means they will hire more people and enter new markets.

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