The number of under-35s starting businesses has risen by more than 70% since 2006. But what is driving this growth?
Millennials sometimes get a bad rap. Some view them as entitled, narcissistic job-hoppers with no real work ethic. Don’t take it to heart, however - the same has always been said of the young. In fact, the number of under-35s now taking the leap into entrepreneurship has dramatically risen since those pre-recession days of yore. What’s more, entrepreneurialism amongst the young is increasing at a faster rate than in any other generation.
This is according to new statistics released by data research leader DueDil and small business network Enterprise Nation. In 2006 there were 145,104 companies founded by people under 35; by 2013 it had jumped to 247,049. The most popular sectors are business services, IT, architecture and catering.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “These statistics show that younger generations are no longer pinning all their hopes on finding the perfect job, they are taking their destiny into their own hands and creating a business around a skill, a passion or a hobby.
“This is not about lack of jobs, this is more about seeing opportunity and feeling empowered enough to rise to the challenge,” she added.
These latest findings are in line with research by UnLtd from earlier this year showing those still in education see entrepreneurship as an important career path. It found more than 55% of young people aged 16 to 25 now want to set up their own firm.
Matthew Rock, editor-in-chief at DueDil, said: “It's only when you look at the evidence that you see how great the shift is in young people deciding to start a business as opposed to getting a job. This is data we will continue to watch to see if the young continue to run these start-ups as the economy picks up.”
And this development is neither solely London- or even England-centric. The areas that saw the biggest percentage rise in young founders were: North Ayrshire (169%); Blaenau Gwent (161%); the Western Isles (150%); West Dunbartonshire (144%); Midlothian (117%); and Merthyr Tydfil (113%). Greater London totted up a smaller but still rather impressive rise of 110%.
This isn't to say the most recent generation has gotten everything right: the overwhelming majority (74%) of young firms are run by men, while just over a quarter are headed by women. However, this is still a better balance than among other generations and shows more young women are feeling empowered to start their own businesses.
Still some way to go for Millennials then, although with their passion, tech-savvy and desire for real change, there is every hope. Take that, Baby Boomers!