Firstborn more likely to start Business

Baby to Business Man

People starting their own business are more likely to have been born the first child in a family and have at least one sibling, according to research by Alliance & Leicester (A&L).

Baby to Business Man

The A&L survey of more than 800 small–business owners revealed that entrepreneurs’ childhood experiences can play an important part in the skills they develop.

The research found 60% of business owners are the eldest child in their family (which may have given them the confidence needed to strike out on their own), while 85% have had the chance to develop leadership skills because they grew up with younger brothers or sisters. Steve Jennings, A&L director of business banking said:

“The research shows that some types of people are more likely to take the leap into business than others but, whatever your personality, there are certain things you can do to ensure the success of your business,”

“The secret of any successful businesses is remembering to temper bravery with prudence,” he added. “Running a business does have associated risks, but it’s vital to make sure that contingency plans are in place should the worst happen.”

According to National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) chief executive George Derbyshire, it is not possible to generalise on the skills entrepreneurs might have learnt during their childhood.

“The majority of people could use their skills to build a business,” he said. “I am very wary of generalising about the skills people have learnt based on their positions in families,” added Derbyshire. “For example, I can well imagine that many younger children acquire the skills of sticking up for themselves in the rough and tumble of family life – a very useful business skill.

“However, I am quite confident that the overwhelming majority of people have it within themselves to run a successful business,” he said. “If they can put themselves in their customers’ shoes, have the patience to do a bit of forward planning and are prepared to work hard and invest in building their own skills, they are well placed both to survive and thrive in business.”

The research from A&L also highlighted that the majority of entrepreneurs are united in their motivations for starting a business. It found that 62% set up in business because they wanted independence, 56% wanted more control over their lives and 57% wanted to be their own boss.

For support and advice on setting up a business in your area, visit the NFEA website

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