18-22 year olds have strong appetite for being business leaders of the future


Ever wondered about going it alone in the future? Confident that you have a killer business thought from which to make your fortune? Turns out you’re not alone.

According to a study by Informi, who provide expert advice and guidance for Britain’s small businesses (SMEs), young adults aged 18 to 22 are full of the entrepreneurial spirit and are well placed to add to the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses, the backbone of the UK’s economy.

The study, which comes ahead of this weekend’s Small Business Saturday, reveals that half (49%) of adults in this age range expressed their hope that they will one day run their own business, with 41% going as far as to call it a life goal of theirs – a figure that is higher than any older generation.

These young adults, who fall into Generation Z, added that their main reason for wanting to start their own SME was due simply to the need to earn more money (75%) and to do something on the side of their day job (28%) – rather than necessarily because they have a great business idea (22%) or have spotted a niche in the market (23%).

Young adults also demonstrated their independence – with 80% saying they would enjoy working on their own, again higher than any of the older generations. This could be particularly useful as the rise of flexible working and technological solutions for work will enable people to increasingly work remotely.

Millennials lead the way when it comes to wanting to start a business


Security and a work-life balance most important to millennials and Generation X

The study suggested that Generation Z valued having a passion for the job that they did and holding a work-life balance among the most important factors they look for in employment. In contrast, millennials and Generation X valued having particularly interesting work to do.


While 38% of Generation Z favour the retail sector as the best industry to start their business in, some 30% preferred the healthcare sector as their most likely home. Education (10%) also proved a popular choice. 

“Great businesses ultimately come in all shapes and sizes, and from all generations,” said Steven Drew, product manager for Informi.

“But the rise of the Generation Z as entrepreneurial champions could help to encourage other adults from their generation to take the plunge into setting up their own business – something that over 550,000 people in the UK did during 2017.

“Having a business idea is one thing; setting up a successful business and overseeing its growth is quite another. There’s plenty of financial risks involved and you will need to gain support and guidance from others, but having a strong plan and the means of financing a venture could give you a chance to turn your ideas and dreams into reality.”