Majority of young want own business

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The Independent Online

More than half of all young people want to start their own businesses, irrespective of whether they are male or female, according to research published today.

A study for the business education charity Businessdynamics found that 53 per cent of school students would like to become entrepreneurs - the first time there has been a majority since the survey began in 2001.

The traditional gender gap is also closing dramatically, with 51 per cent of female students aspiring to become entrepreneurs compared with just 35 per cent last year. The figure for male students was 55 per cent.

There was a marked regional variation, however, with 56 per cent of young people in England wanting to become entrepreneurs against just 38 per cent in Scotland. The charity attributed the rise in female interest in starting up a business to role models such as the author JK Rowling and the singer Charlotte Church who were both mentioned as sources of inspiration. Only 27 per cent of the 400 students surveyed by GfK NOP for Businessdynamics had a family member who ran their own business.

Sir Paul Judge, the chairman of the charitable group, said: "Successful economies need new businesses and we are delighted by the research findings. However, encouraging young people to want to be more entrepreneurial is just the first step. Giving them the skills and knowledge to make it a reality is the key."

The stigma of failure was not seen as a deterrent to becoming an entrepreneur - 88 per cent of those surveyed said the owner should be encouraged to try again.