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East Midlands Chamber News

Survey Confirms Euro-Young Are Afraid To Become Entrepreneurs

Young people in the UK lack the skills and confidence to be entrepreneurs, according to new research.

A global study found that only 17.3 per cent of young Europeans (including Britain) felt confident about starting their own business.

In sub-Saharan Africa 60 per cent of young people said they were confident of their entrepreneurial abilities, in Latin America and the Caribbean the figure was 40 per cent and in the Middle East and North Africa it was 30 per cent.

Only in Asia Pacific and South Asia (16.8 per cent) were young people less confident about becoming entrepreneurs.

DNCC President Ian Greenaway“The figures are quite alarming but sadly confirm my own belief that in the UK we don’t put enough emphasis on teaching young people both employability and entrepreneurial skills,” said Ian Greenaway, President of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s all well and good teaching children by rote to a tight curriculum but if they come out of school without having been given the aspiration and skills to either work for other people or set up their own businesses then the system is letting them down,” he added.

In the study, carried out by Youth Business International and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 41 per cent of the European 18-35 year olds responding said fear of failure was the biggest deterrent to starting their own business.

Ian said: “If children were taught the so-called soft skills needed to survive in the workplace they would have more confidence about starting their own business which would, in turn, create employment opportunities which would create wealth and economic sustainability.

“I’m very disappointed but not surprised by these figures. I think they prove conclusively that we need to take a short, hard look at our education offer and work quickly to give young people the confidence this survey has shown they lack.

“We also need to look at the bureaucracy involved in starting and running your own business and cut out a lot of the red tape which takes an entrepreneur’s focus off what they go into business for.

“We need businesses and schools to work together to ensure young people have all the skills they need embedded before they leave school and the young enterprise scheme, where students run a business for a year in school , is a good example of how this can work.”

Despite lacking the confidence to go it alone, 61 per cent of young people surveyed in Europe said they thought entrepreneurship was a good thing.

The findings from the Generation Entrepreneur? The State of Global Youth Entrepreneurship report – which surveyed more than 198,000 people across 69 countries – come at the start of YBI’s Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit, which takes place every three years.

The Summit - supported by Accenture, Barclays and BG Group and taking place in London 9-12 September – brings together over 300 experts in youth entrepreneurship from around 50 countries to share the latest thinking on how more young people can be encouraged and enabled to start their own business.

Andrew Devenport, CEO of Youth Business International, said: “This report suggests that young people around the world have the will, but not the means, to become entrepreneurs.

“It’s worrying that while many young people do see good opportunities for starting up a business, most of those in Europe do not.

“At a time when we need more new businesses to help drive our economy forward, we want people to come together to support and encourage entrepreneurship in any way they can.”

Header image on news page © Marcoscisetti Stock Free Images and Dreamstime Stock Photos