Entrepreneurial Spirit High but Economic Confidence Remains Low

Intuit research finds Brits want to be their own boss, but confidence in economy remains low49% of UK adults think now is a worse time to set up a business than a year ago.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Intuit, makers of QuickBooks financial management software for small businesses, has found that half of Brits (49%) think the UK is an entrepreneurial country. More than a third (34%) of Brits want to, or have already started their own business, up from 32% last year. However, the economic recovery is denting their entrepreneurial confidence. When those who want to set up their own business were asked whether they plan to set one up in the next year, only 12% agreed, this is down from 18% in 2009.

I want to be my own boss

The Intuit research asked those that have either set up their own business, or intend to, what the reasons were for doing so. The results were very closely aligned with the top being they ‘want to be their own boss’ (58%). This was closely followed by ‘reap all rewards of my own hard work’ (54%) and ‘I want to make more money’ (43%). More men want to set up their own business than woman with only 22% of women saying they want to set up their own business compared to 31% of men.

What’s stopping them?

To understand why this is, the Intuit research asked those who want to set up their own business (or have already done so) what the barriers are to setting up a new business. The number one barrier is ‘finding the money’ (53%), followed by ‘finding the right business idea’ (38%) and ‘finding the courage’ (32%).

How can the banks help?

When asked what the banks could do to help, more than half (58%) thought the best option was to ‘cut loan interest rates for small business’ closely followed by ‘increased lending to small businesses’ (55%). 41% thought that more tailored products would help small businesses.

Women want work to fit around the family

Lifestyle issues were also important with 44% of women citing working from home as a reason to set up their own business (compared to 34% for men). Nearly a third (30%) of both sexes aged 35 – 44 said they wanted work to fit around looking after their children.

Pernille Bruun-Jensen, managing director, Intuit UK said:

“With nearly 5 million small businesses in the UK, Britain is still very much an entrepreneurial country. However, although many people plan to set up their own business, this year’s survey, like last, has found that a large number still remain cautious. Most people cite ‘finding the money’ as a key barrier and they think banks cutting loan interest would help start ups the most.”

“It is clear that providing British entrepreneurs with better advice and support, including applying for finance and managing cashflow, is needed to give them the courage to take the plunge. As such it will be very interesting to compare this year’s findings with next year’s, to see if the measures being proposed by government and banks to restore confidence in this sector and inspire men and women across the country to start their own small businesses prove successful.”

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