Why are there not more young entrepreneurs?

For generations people have reveled in the concept of the ‘entrepreneur’ – the classic tale of rags to riches inspires millions around the world as they envisage exciting cars and big houses at an age where you’ve got no responsibilities, no family, no worries.

But this kind of success is as unrealistic as it is uncommon: clearly there’s a whole host of issues which any young entrepreneur must tackle if they are to successfully navigate the business world and the concept of making ‘quick’ money is one condemned largely to Hollywood, but very few people are even trying.

According to research conducted by Santander, 27 per cent of students have started a business at university or intend to do so. This figure however is misleading upon further inspection, as only five per cent of this number already have. Whilst it seems likely a portion of the remaining 22 per cent will successfully start, I’d be willing to wager that the majority won’t.

The question is why?

In a technologically powered world of Mark Zuckerberg’s and Bill Gates’, the average young-persons dreams of creating the next big app or website: not only does this seem to be where the gap is in the ever-evolving market, it’s also the easiest idea to concoct. However what many fail to realize is that, not only is the market incomprehensibly saturated, there’s also much more to creating an app than watching a couple of online coding tutorials.

Similarly, with product-based ideas, the concept of bringing a good formed thought to market is an intimidating prospect. The world of business registry, patents and licensing is one far from any education young people receive at school or university and something that’s difficult to become educated about: something particularly frustrating for young people with a great idea but a lack of contacts.

Of course, this is only the beginning of the issue for young entrepreneurs, for even when they’ve navigated the minefield of legislation and bureaucracy they’re presented with the matter of money. Pitching ideas to potential investors is a skill lacked by countless young people suffering from nonexistent practice, and even those with the necessary skills to effectively propose their ideas might find themselves forced to give up large parts of their business in exchange for investment.

For entrepreneurs to flourish in the UK, there needs to be easier access to influencers and to investment, alongside a reduction in the red tape, which intimidates and deters creatives from braving the market.

Schemes like Virgin Voom, which has just launched its 2016 competition and offers young innovators the opportunity to pitch their ideas and receive up to £20,000 investment for absolutely no sacrifice of their business, as long as working alongside LinkedIn to match young people with successful business-people appropriate to their ideas and vision.

If young people can find ways of connecting with contacts to fully form ideas, pitch to people without fear and receive investment without the cost of autonomy, young entrepreneurs will once again have the opportunity to succeed in the way of Bill and Branson.

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