Fear of failure holds back budding entrepreneurs

Fear of failure holds back budding entrepreneursMore than one in three would-be entrepreneurs say they think about starting a business every day, but 78% are afraid they’ll fail.


These are the findings of a survey of 1,000 would-be entrepreneurs by the Business is GREAT campaign. It found that 39% think about starting a business every day but hadn’t taken any steps to realise their dreams.


The research found that the 18-24 year olds were most preoccupied with thoughts of starting a business, with 52% of this group saying that they think about starting a business most days. Only 24% of the 55+ age group had the same ambitions.


These are no pipe dreams, according to the research. It found that 41% of respondents said starting a business would be a greater achievement for them than raising a family; and 63% said it was one of their greatest ambitions.


But a number of barriers to starting up are holding back these potential entrepreneurs:



  • 78% cited fear of failure;

  • 70% said they lacked a mentor;

  • 60% lacked inspiration;

  • 60% said they needed more advice;

  • 69% said finance was a problem;

  • 50% were concerned about finding premises;

  • 37% said they didn’t have support from their family.


When asked about their motivations for starting up, flexibility (98%), happiness (91%), freedom (92%), the lack of a boss (95%) and the desire to feel successful (90%) were key motivators, while money (83%) came a little further down the list for most of the respondents.


Business secretary Vince Cable said: “Over two 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.”


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