Finance · 29 August 2018

Is money essential when starting a business? 1 million millennials don’t think so

Millennial entrepreneurs urged to consider how long-term saving and investing can help realise their ambitions

Ahead of Small Business Advice Week 2018, The Millennial Money Survey, has found 30% of UK millennials (4.6m people) aspire to start their own business. However, over a quarter of this group believe that money won’t be “essential” to do it.

The study, of over 4,000 people aged 18 to 35, found that 14% of UK millennials aspire to start a business in the next five years, and this rises to 18% for those who want to start-up in the next decade.

However, the poll shows only 11% of UK millennials intend to save or invest more in 2018 ‘in order to help start a business’.

Commenting on the findings, Ross Duncton, Managing Director, head of marketing at BMO Global Asset Management, said: “Our study highlights the impressive level of entrepreneurial ambition among young people in the UK.

“14% of people aged 35 or under aspire to start a business in the next five years; and our study indicates that they want expert help too – almost one in 10 millennials said they’d appreciate more help or education on running a business.

“To put that into context, that’s the same appetite (9%) they have for advice on buying or selling property.”

F&C Investment Trust worries that many young entrepreneurs may be underestimating the cost of setting up a new business. Ahead of Small Business Advice Week (3-9 Sept 2018), it’s urging them to consider the role of long-term saving and investing today to help them realise their future ambitions.

“Small Business Advice Week is a great opportunity for budding business-owners to seek advice from professionals who are willing to share first-hand experience to help others succeed.

“I urge aspiring entrepreneurs to also seek advice about how they can finance their enterprise. Think about ways to build a personal savings pot, for example via investment products that can grow your cash steadily in the medium to long-term.

“This can enable you to self-finance a higher percentage of your business. Less reliance on bank loans or external investors at the outset, can bring more financial independence and control over business decisions in the long run.”

Regional findings

More budding business owners are based in the North East of England than anywhere else in the UK (35%), compared to 24% in the South West of England, which has the lowest number.Slightly more men (20%) than women (18%) aspire to start a business in the next 10 years; and millennials under 30 are more likely (20%) than those over 30 (16%) to pick ‘start a business’ as a life goal.

Percentage of UK millennials who aspire to start their own business, by UK region

  1. North East (35%)
  2. Yorkshire & Humber (34%)
  3. London Region (33%)
  4. Wales (32%)
  5. North West (32%)
  6. West Midlands (31%)
  7. East of England (30%)
  8. East Midlands (29%)
  9. Northern Ireland (28%)
  10. Scotland (27%)
  11. South East (27%)
  12. South West (24%)

Side hustling is alive and kicking

Not all millennials have a desire to set up their own business, and qualitative elements of the study confirmed the millennial cohort is adept at supplementing their income through side hustling. The Trust is working with intergenerational experts to understand the money habits of younger savers and investors.

Dr Eliza Filby, a historian of contemporary values and generations expert recognises the side hustle as a priority for many millennials: 

“Unlike previous generations, having a side-hustle is no longer a nice-to-have-hobby but an essential income generator. It’s a life-line for millions of millennials.

“I’m expecting this buzzword to go big in 2018 as it shifts from slang into normal conversation. Just as the gig-economy moved out of the shadows, side-hustling is already making waves; with media reports starting to emerge about how having a “side-hustle” is a crucial contribution to many people’s household income.

“While the phrase is imbued in entrepreneurialism, I think its shift into modern culture is demonstrative of a more serious trend: how hard many young people have to work to get the money they need to survive today.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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