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Young Brits Embrace Entrepreneurship, Turning Side Hustles into Start-ups

From the allure of Dragons’ Den to the dynamic platforms of TikTok, a surge of youthful entrepreneurial spirit is reshaping the landscape of business in the UK.

Recent findings from Lloyds Bank reveal that Generation Z is leading the charge, with a remarkable three in five (60%) considering leaving their jobs to transform their side hustles into full-fledged enterprises.

A survey of 1,500 adults unveils a resounding desire among young entrepreneurs to seize control of their destiny, with eight in 10 (79%) expressing aspirations of becoming their own bosses to break free from the shackles of traditional employment. Nearly a third (29%) admit to feeling unfulfilled in their current roles, propelling them towards the realm of entrepreneurship.

Compared to their older counterparts, Generation Z—those born after 1996—is significantly more attuned to the economic climate, with 33% citing prevailing market conditions as a catalyst for exploring alternative income streams, compared to the average of 21%.

Confidence runs high among aspiring entrepreneurs, with nearly seven in 10 (68%) expressing belief in their ability to launch a business, a sentiment shared by three-quarters (73%) of Generation Z. Motivations vary, from seeking financial independence (45%) and achieving a better work-life balance (37%), to harnessing their passions and hobbies (35%) for professional fulfilment.

The study identifies the onset of the year as a pivotal juncture for aspiring entrepreneurs across all age groups, with over a quarter (27%) considering the inception of a business during this period.

Social media emerges as a pivotal influencer in shaping entrepreneurial pursuits, particularly among Generation Z. Over a quarter (26%) credit social media for inspiring their entrepreneurial journey, with this cohort nearly three times more likely to seek guidance from online influencers (27% vs. 10% average).

Elyn Corfield, CEO at Lloyds Bank – Business & Commercial Banking, underscores the UK’s standing as an incubator for innovation, remarking, “Our research underscores a new generation’s pursuit of entrepreneurial dreams and the transformative potential of their endeavours.”

Despite their zeal, young entrepreneurs are not immune to apprehensions. High start-up costs (33%) loom large as a barrier, particularly for Generation Z (52%) and Millennials (40%). Moreover, uncertainty regarding requisite support channels plagues Generation Z, who are 85% more likely to express doubts about where to find assistance (37% vs. 20% average).

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School, commends the youth’s enterprising spirit, noting, “These findings herald a promising era for the UK, with young entrepreneurs embodying a multifaceted pursuit of financial autonomy, work-life balance, and purpose-driven careers.”

The survey underscores various catalysts driving entrepreneurial ambitions, including vivid dreams of success—a phenomenon disproportionately embraced by Generation Z (19% vs. 11% average)—and exposure to television shows like Dragons’ Den or The Apprentice.

For budding entrepreneurs contemplating the leap, the odds of success are encouraging, with just one in ten (11%) reporting business failure. On average, respondents cite earnings of £2317.50 per month, translating to an annual income of £27,810—a testament to the potential rewards awaiting those daring enough to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

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Young Brits Embrace Entrepreneurship, Turning Side Hustles into Start-ups

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