By Claire West

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week will see the release of new research that shatters some of the most commonly held myths around entrepreneurship.

Tom Bewick, CEO of Enterprise UK, said: “We are relying on the nation’s entrepreneurs to lead the economic recovery so we must do everything we can to encourage potential business owners to take the leap. That means shattering the myths that discourage people from thinking they can be entrepreneurial.”

The research, based on analysis by Aston Business School for Enterprise UK, the organisation that is spearheading Global Entrepreneurship Week, will undermine a key myth each day in a bid to destroy the barriers that prevent people from starting a new business.

The five myths are:

• Entrepreneurs are born and not made
• Entrepreneurship is a solo activity
• Entrepreneurs are all a certain type
• Entrepreneurship is only about profit
• You need lots of money to start a business


A common myth is that entrepreneurs are born with natural commercial instincts and that entrepreneurs cannot be made or taught. This research shatters this myth by proving the significant role that enterprise education plays in encouraging people to start new ventures.

The findings show that:

• EDUCATION MATTERS: Taking part in enterprise education at school doubles the likelihood of a person starting a business

• INCREASED CHANCES: Graduates are 60% more likely to be entrepreneurs than non-graduates

• EXPERIENCE COUNTS: People who have had a business fail in the past 12 months are four times more likely to start a business than those who haven’t

Professor Mark Hart of Aston University, who conducted the research, commented: “We believe that entrepreneurial efforts are being hampered by persistent reinforcement of a number of myths about entrepreneurship. Tackling these myths could be at the heart of supporting more entrepreneurship in the UK.”

Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den and Chairman of Enterprise UK, said: “It’s imperative that we shatter the myth that entrepreneurs are born and not made. Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be taught just like any other and I passionately believe in the value of enterprise education and the role that it plays in helping people get started in business.

“This research shows that enterprise education doubles the likelihood of a person starting a business. The reality is that all kinds of people from all walks of life start successful businesses and we need to redouble our efforts to encourage exactly that.”