70% of Londoners dream of starting a business

The capital's Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are 20% more likely to want to start a business...

Some 70% of Londoners dream of starting their own business, according to a new survey from the British Library’s Business and IP Centre (BIPC) and Comres Global – released as the BIPC celebrates 10s year in business.

1,024 adults living in the capital were interviewed for the survey, which was weighted to be representative of age, gender, region, ethnicity, working status and tenure.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups were found to be 20% more likely to want to start their own business but were more likely to be prevented from starting a business by a lack of funding (44%).

For the majority of Londoners surveyed, the desire to be their own boss was the main motivation for wanting to start a business (47%), followed by wanting a better work-life balance (40%,) and wanting to have more control over their future success (39%).

Capitalising on a gap in the market (16%) and wanting to make a difference to their local community (12%) were Londoners’ least common motivations.

Of respondents that had not started their own business, a lack of funding (38%) was cited as the biggest barrier to starting up by far, with not knowing where to start (26%), a lack of knowledge (22%), financial commitments (22%) and simply “fear” (20%) following.

Interestingly, men were far more likely than women to want to start a business based around technology or an app (26% compared to 7%), while women were twice as likely to start an arts and crafts-based business (10% to 5%).

Rajesh Agrawal, deputy mayor for business, commented on the study: “Entrepreneurs and founders are, and always have been, central to London’s thriving economy and future success, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and creating innovative new businesses that benefit the economy and consumers.

“London is always open to talent and innovation and I would like to wish the centre the very best as it supports the next generation of great business minds.”

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