The UK’s entrepreneurs remain optimistic about business prospects, following a period of strong growth.
In a poll conducted by Ernst and Young (EY), 69 per cent of entrepreneurs reported an increase in profits in the last 12 months, with 38 per cent experiencing double-digit growth.
That positive trend looks set to continue, despite any recent economic uncertainty. More than half (54 per cent) of entrepreneurs foresee at least 10 per cent growth in the next three years, while 32 per cent plan to hire more than 20 new staff before 2020.
However the impact of Brexit remained a source of concern. With plans to exit the single market causing turbulent economic conditions for new businesses, 30 per cent of entrepreneurs reported seeing economic uncertainty as their biggest challenge.
Overall, 29 per cent of entrepreneurs thought that Brexit could affect them detrimentally in the long-term. Yet 13 per cent expected no impact in the long-term, while 21 per cent even thought the vote would prove beneficial for their businesses. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) thought the UK's exit from the EU would not cause any issues for them when recruiting the right people.
Joanna Santinon, leader of EY’s UK Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, said: “Characteristically, entrepreneurs are eternal optimists committed to their cause. In the face of uncertainty they find a way to grow. In fact they use times of change to their advantage, by innovating and disrupting the status quo.”
She added: "True there is much uncertainty in the market right now, which is set to stay for the foreseeable future; but this is an environment where entrepreneurs typically thrive and get ahead of the competition."