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Record numbers of Britons ready to set up in business

Study reveals a fifth of adults in the UK considering taking the plunge

More people in the UK were thinking of setting up in business in 2011 than in the last ten years, with a fifth of adult Britons either already running a business or expecting to run one in the next 3 years, according to a new report. The study, from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) published by Aston University, also found that the number of new businesses remained stable in 2011, with 3.4% of the UK working age population running a business that was less than 3 years old. The study also noted a rise in female entrepreneurs, with 49% of adults in the early stages of setting up a business being female – up from 44% in 2010. Although the number of people setting up a business out of necessity (lack of other opportunities) rose from 0.7% to 1.3%, the report found this figure remained much less than opportunity driven entrepreneurship, which rose from 5.1% to 6% in 2011. National enterprise campaign StartUp Britain’s co-founder Emma Jones said of the report: “I’m delighted to see these results show the highest recorded number of people starting a business. Across the country, people are turning a hobby into a way of making a living and spotting niche gaps in the market to fill. It’s never been so cheap to start a business and there’s an abundance of support available.”

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