By Claire West


The myth that entrepreneurship is solely a white, middle-class, male pursuit will be undermined by new research published for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 today.

The findings will show that:

• WOMEN ON THE MOVE: The rate of female entrepreneurship in the UK has risen by 15% in the past decade.

• YOUTH RISING: Levels of youth entrepreneurship (18-34) have risen by 20% in the past decade.

Interestingly, the levels of male entrepreneurship have remained relatively consistent over the same period.
The research, carried out by Aston Business School on behalf of Enterprise UK, shows that more under-represented groups are starting up their own businesses than ever before. For budding entrepreneurs fearful of not being the right ‘type’ to start a business, this will come as welcome news.

Sara Murray, founder of confused.com and buddi; Sarah Curran, founder of my-wardrobe.com; Priya Lakhani, founder of Masala Masala; and Christian Owens, the millionaire 16 year old internet entrepreneur are just some of the inspirational entrepreneurs that challenge the traditional perception of entrepreneurship.

Today is the third day of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 (November 15- 21), which this year aims to encourage people to make a job, not take a job in order to kick-start the UK’s economic growth.

Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den and Chairman of Enterprise UK says: “With levels of male entrepreneurship remaining unchanged over the past decade, the increase in the rates of female and youth entrepreneurship is encouraging — but it is not enough. This country must recognise the need to support and develop the potential within all groups currently under-represented in entrepreneurship, including minority ethnic groups.”

Tom Bewick, CEO of Enterprise UK says: “This research shows a positive cultural shift. A wider variety of people are stepping up and making a difference in the world by launching their own enterprises.

“We must continue to encourage these individuals so that the UK can become the global entrepreneurial hub that it has the potential to be. Global Entrepreneurship Week will bring together these inspired entrepreneurs and prove that they all play a pivotal role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.”

Enterprise UK, the organisation spearheading Global Entrepreneurship Week, commissioned the Aston Business School research in order to undermine a key myth every day.