Over 26,000 UK businesses run by young entrepreneurs aged 21 and under

Fast growth app economy creating ‘Generation Entrepreneur’ with tech sector proving most attractive for young people

An estimated 26,400 people aged 21 and under are currently listed as directors of UK Ltd companies, according to professional services consultancy Procorre.

The report claims that the rapid growth of the app economy – economic activity relating to mobile applications – and success of young people in the industry is leading to a shift in ‘Generation Y’ to ‘Generation Entrepreneur’.

The accessibility of media and technology and growth of related sectors has encouraged many aspiring entrepreneurs aged 21 and under to start businesses.

Some of the entrepreneurs highlighted as “role models of their generation”  includes founder of clean eating blog Deliciously Ella, Ella Woodward, which sees 150,000 hits a day; and the founder of pop-up shop booking platform Appear Here, Ross Bailey, which secured £1m in funding last year.

Other young entrepreneurs cited in the report includes creator of revision app Gojimo, George Burgess, which raised more than $1m in seed funding from Index Ventures; creator of SB.TV, Jamal Edwards, now worth an estimated £8m; and founder of aggregator app Summly, Nick D’Aloisio, who sold the app for £20m to Yahoo in 2013. Founders of skiing app Edge, Ed Hardy and Kit Logan, also feature.

Despite the rise in young entrepreneurship and improving economy, the current unemployment rate for young people aged between 16 and 24 is at 16.2%. But with Britain’s technology sector expected to grow four times faster than its GDP this year, tech firms should see 11% growth over the same period, potentially creating many opportunities for job seekers and young entrepreneurs.

A number of factors are said to be contributing to the sectors rapid growth, including technological improvements lowering costs, improved technology education in schools and lower staffing requirements needed by tech firms.

Wiktor Podgorski, contracts and human resources manager at Procorre, comments: “The UK has raised a generation of young entrepreneurs, who are making their mark across the economy, from restaurants to consumer goods and retail.

“The app economy is a particular thriving area for entrepreneurial activity. Young people are tempted by the huge sums of money available –all they need is ability, ambition and a computer to get rich in the app economy.

“Inability to find the kind of employment they want may be inspiring some young people to start out on their own instead. High-tech industries, where the size of a business is much less important than its ability to create innovative products are proving particularly popular amongst young entrepreneurs.”

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  1. SME_Advice
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    Great article, we’re particularly interested in the shifting landscape of new business start-ups. Perhaps younger people are being inspired by the rise in positivity around the start-up/SME sectors. We carried out some research on small businesses that shows the rise in optimism for 2015, it’s called The Business Boost report.