Business woman (11)

Over a third (39%) of those aged 16 to 25-years-old aspire to work for themselves and have their own business, with half hoping to be their own boss by their late twenties, according to new research.

For 61% of Millennials who want to work for themselves the appeal lies within making something of their own and for 54% it is the potential for flexible working hours, revealed the study by Opinium Research.

However, for almost half (46%) the prospect of making a fortune is still front of mind as they hope to work for themselves to make lots of money.

This is in line with trends measured by the Government which found that the number of businesses in the UK has increased by 1.9 million since 2000, with the majority of the increase being from small businesses or sole traders.

Rachael Camp, a researcher at Opinium Research, said: “Our research highlights the influence that the modern business world has on the career hopes and expectations of millennials. The dominance of Silicon Valley ‘personalities’ in recent years has clearly influenced the current generation of young people – who feel that vision and entrepreneurial spirit are the best ways to get ahead in business, rather than the traditional academic routes.

Key to success

The millennial generation, raised on business icons and famous university drop outs such Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, do not think that good academics are the route to entrepreneurial success, suggests the research.

Only 15% of young people cite successful studies as the best way to get ahead as an entrepreneur in the business world, instead seeing connections (55%), the ability to stand out as a ‘business leader’ (52%) and creativity (42%) as the real making of a potential mogul.

Gender gap

However, despite this generation being particularly forward-thinking, many of the potential industries that young people hope to move into still have a significant gender divide. The research found a fifth (20%) of men who want to work for themselves, hope to move into the burgeoning field of technology, whereas only 2% of young women do.

This reflects a recent report by the Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills which stated that ‘barriers exist especially for women who are under represented on higher education courses in computer related subjects’. Instead, 15% of women would like to start their own business in the creative industry (artist, author) –while only 8% of men show the same interest.

Ms. Camp added: “It’s important to recognise the gender barriers that still exist in certain industries. Although we’re not short of young entrepreneurial woman, their lack of presence in the booming tech industry should prompt the tech leaders to consider why and what can be done to change this.”