United Kingdom

Institution: Aston University
Survey Vendor: BMG Ltd
Funders: Department for Business
Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Welsh Assembly Government

Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
University of Strathclyde

Invest Northern Ireland

Key Indicators
TEA: 8.6%
 
Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity: percentage of 18-64 population who are either a nascent entrepreneur or owner-manager of a new business
Established Business Ownership: 6%
 
Percentage of 18-64 population who are currently an owner-manager of an established business, i.e., owning and managing a running business that has paid salaries, wages, or any other payments to the owners for more than 42 months
Perceived Opportunities: 37%
 
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who see good opportunities to start a firm in the area where they live
Perceived Capabilities: 38%
 
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who believe they have the required skills and knowledge to start a business
Entrepreneurial Intention: 8.5%
 
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who are latent entrepreneurs and who intend to start a business within three years
Fear of Failure: 43%
 
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who indicate that fear of failure would prevent them from setting up a business

Early-stage entrepreneurial activity is relatively high and remains above the long-run average


Most recent data: 2014 (note: the figures cited here differ slightly from those presented in the GEM 2014 Global Report as they reflect the larger UK sample, data collection for which was completed later in 2014)


Early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the UK remains above the long run average of 6%, with the final UK estimate for 2014 of 8.6%. The rate of total entrepreneurial activity is comparatively high, typically lying above that of France and Germany but below the US. In 2014, 8.5% of working age adults expected to start a business within the next 3 years which is above the longer term trend for the UK.

The UK has a high regard for the status of successful entrepreneurs and optimism about start-up opportunities has recovered to pre-2008 levels. However, just 58% of the population think that starting a business is a good career choice.

Males tend to be more entrepreneurially active and have more positive attitudes than females, who are more risk aware. Around 1 in 5 (18%) of UK early-stage entrepreneurs had high job expectations in 2014; which was higher than the rates for its European peers but lower than in the US, at 27%.

The typical UK early-stage entrepreneur is male, aged 39, has a university degree, and is from a middle to higher income household. He is likely to be motivated by opportunity, rather than necessity, and is more likely to be working in a consumer-oriented business.


Enablers and Constraints


The UK has a relatively strong base for encouraging early-stage entrepreneurial activity with widespread access to business support and mentoring programmes; the provision of entrepreneurial awareness schemes throughout the education sector; and good access to office space, and IT and broadband infrastructure.

The key challenges remain access to bank finance; the costs involved with taking on staff; and access to and finance for developing export markets.


Initiatives Supporting Entrepreneurship


The Start Up Loans Company is a government funded initiative operated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that provides start up support in the form of a repayable loan together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs across the UK. The Scheme was set up in 2013; the idea originally proposed by Lord Young in response to the relatively low levels of entrepreneurial activity in the UK compared to the US, and was designed to help solve the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance.



An additional scheme supporting entrepreneurship amongst young children is being run by Young Enterprise in partnership with Virgin Money and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Named The Fiver Challenge, the scheme gives pupils aged up to 11 the chance to set up their own business, learn about the world of enterprise and develop entrepreneurial talents. The children are given five pounds, which they have to use to create products or services to sell at a profit – which they are allowed to keep – and then return the original loan to the Fiver Bank.


Trends Over Time


The Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate was close to 6% between 2003 and 2010, but then rose and for the last four years it has fluctuated between around 8% and 10%. The most notable increase has been amongst the over 50 age group.

While opportunity perception has recovered to pre-2008 levels, fear of failure has remained high while skills perception has remained lower than before 2008.


Challenges for the Future


The biggest challenges in the UK lie with raising the growth ambitions of entrepreneurs and matching this with the skills necessary for growth.

United Kingdom Reports

Name
Report information
pdf
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2016-05-13

  • This report summarises entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspiration in the UK and across its four home nations. Comparisons are also made to the United States and Germany. Business startup funding expectations and refusal rates are also examined.
  • URL: http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/49536
GEM United Kingdom 2015 report
Report information
pdf
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2015-03-27

  • This report compares measures of entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspiration in the UK with France, Germany and the United States. It also summarizes entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspiration across the four nations of the UK and reports on business registration activity by business owner-managers, and on changes in business start-up funding expectations through the business cycle in the UK.
  • URL: http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/49102
GEM United Kingdom 2014 Report
Report information
pdf
GEM Scotland 2014 Report
Report information
pdf
GEM United Kingdom 2013 Report - Scotland
Report information
pdf
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2015-03-27

  • This report compares measures of entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspiration in the UK with France, Germany and the United States. It also summarizes entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspiration across the four nations of the UK and reports on business registration activity by business owner-managers, wellbeing measures of both entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, and on changes in business start-up funding expectations through the business cycle in the UK. 

  • URL: http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/48859
GEM United Kingdom 2013 Report
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