By Daniel Hunter

More than one in three aspiring entrepreneurs (39%) say they think about starting a business every day, but 78% are afraid they’ll fail.

The research, which has been released by the Business is GREAT campaign to encourage those thinking of starting a business to take the leap, surveyed 1,000 apsiring entrepreneurs — those who had thought about starting a business, but hadn’t.

It found that the 18-24 year olds were most preoccupied with thoughts of starting a business — 52% of this group said they think about starting a business most days — while the 55+ age group were the least preoccupied, with only 24% of this age group admitting to having a daily obsession about a business they’ve never started.

Despite a strong desire to start a business — 41% of the respondents said that starting a business would be a greater achievement for them than raising a family; while 63% said it was one of their greatest ambitions — the research revealed a number of perceived barriers that were stopping them from turning their ideas into reality:

- Fear of failure was the overriding barrier (78% cited this).

- Lack of a mentor (70%); inspiration (60%); advice (60%); finance (69%) and concerns about finding a premises (50%) were also high on the list.

- Time was also a hindrance, with 62% stating that they couldn’t start a business because of time pressures from their existing job; as well as lack of family support, which 37% stated was a problem for them.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK is Europe’s leading entrepreneurial nation and the Government is backing small firms as part of our industrial strategy to create long term jobs and grow the economy. Large companies also have a vital role to play in offering support and sharing their expertise with smaller companies wanting to grow.

“Over 2 million new businesses have launched since 2010 and I want to encourage all would-be entrepreneurs to visit the GREAT Business website and benefit from the wealth of advice and support that’s out there. I look forward to seeing more inspirational small businesses develop their dreams into a reality.”