Image: DFID/Flickr Image: DFID/Flickr

More than four in five British people aged 16-21 are interested in starting their own business. With the UK business population reaching an all-time high, this bodes well for the entrepreneurial future of the nation.

Of the 500 young people surveyed by Censuswide on behalf of ABE, 82% of respondents plan to start a business in the future and 4% have already launched their own company. If barriers such as financial constraints or a lack of skills were removed, this figure rises to 90% of those who would like to start a business.

Although these statistics may suggest that it is time to find ways to better harness these entrepreneurial abilities, the future may be looking brighter as small business minister Margot James announced of a £40 million growth fund for business scale-ups last week.

Kate Winter, director of international marketing at ABE, said: “Our research has indicated clearly that a large proportion of young people in the UK have entrepreneurial ability, most of which is untapped or untested.”

“It is encouraging to see the number of university places increasing following this year’s A-level results, but what our survey also shows is that more needs to be done to unlock our young people’s entrepreneurial potential, and cement the UK’s place as a hub for business innovation.”

ABE said an effective way of building the next generation of entrepreneurs is through the provision of high-quality business start-up qualifications, which are designed to give ambitious young people a firm grounding in how to set up and run a new business.

Winter added: “Starting out on your own, especially as a young person, can be daunting, so giving young entrepreneurs peace of mind can only be a good thing. Completing a formal, fully accredited start-up course means learners are given this crucial stepping stone to launching their business venture.”