Startups: Would-be entrepreneurs put off by 'complexity' of starting own business

 
Callum Keown
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Silicon Roundabout: Entrepreneurs need more information about starting businesses (Source: Getty)

Thousands of young people are being put off from setting up their own businesses, putting Britain's startup revolution at risk, a report has warned.


The Great British Enterprise Opportunity report, by former Bank of England economist Steve Hughes, also called for digital education to be prioritised by the government to give people the necessary skills for the “jobs of the future”.

The report found that more than 70,000 people across Britain had the desire and ideas to set up a business but chose not to – with 59 per cent of those aged 25-49.

A Yougov poll of 2,000 people in the report found that 28 per cent of people were put off starting a business due to the complexity of the process.

Read more: A quarter of Londoners want to start their own business


It called for a new online dashboard – a so-called Enterprise Account – with information on every aspect of setting up and running a business.

The paper, commissioned by digital services firm Atos, also concluded that the UK could play home to more than a third of new businesses if would-be entrepreneurs were given access to more information.

Chief executive of Atos UK and Ireland, Adrian Gregory, said: “The barriers to growth – both for individuals looking to start their own business, and small businesses looking to expand – are real and are holding the country back.

“Reducing the complexity in how young people especially, access information, advice and funds to start and grow their own business will ensure that Britain retains its entrepreneurial zeal.”

Read more: The best UK startup jobs are in London, study reveals

Gregory also called for a “relentless focus” on upskilling and retraining people for the jobs of the future.

Rachel Maclean MP, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship, said: “Frankly starting a business is terrifying, and I know I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t found myself married into a family of entrepreneurs.

“Anything that can be done to ease these challenges is welcome.”

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