Spiralling student debt may be stifling the entrepreneurial spirit of Britain's youth.
As thousands of students head for a new university term this week, a UK-wide survey of 16-24-year-olds by AXA found sixty two per cent of young people in Birmingham would like their own company, but a fifth are put off because of student debts and financial concerns. The other barrier for young would-be entrepreneurs is a lack of business information from educational, government and business institutions.
Respondents blamed government and business bodies, rather than educational institutions.
One in three felt young people didn?t get enough help from government and business bodies, while only one in 25 felt a lack of business education in school or college was the biggest barrier. Of the 62 per cent who wanted to start a business, nearly three quarters cited ?being my own boss? as the major reason, with ? making money?, unsurprisingly, the other major draw ? by 31 per cent.
The vast majority, 81 per cent, thought it better to start a business under the age of 35.
The sector most attractive to Birmingham?s future executives is retail, with a fifth highlighting this sector. Professional services only attracted one per cent.
Lou Macari, head of business consultancy and training at AXA, who started his first company at the age of 20, said: ?Young people are undoubtedly under a lot more pressure financially than in the past and while many dream of their own company, they are put off by what can seem like huge obstacles.
?It was interesting those questioned felt, along with creative-thinking, being a ?risk-taker? is the most important characteristic. Attitude to risk is an important factor, the entrepreneur?s objective is not to ?take risks? but to manage and minimise them. ?