Fear of failure stops over half of British workers from starting a business

Nottingham workers “most afraid” of making business idea a reality with Cardiff employees “least fearful”

56% of British workers are “afraid” to start a business with a fear of failure stopping them from turning an idea into reality, as reported in a new study by Moonfruit.

Polling 2,000 workers across the UK, the study found that 56% had come up with an idea or invention but hadn’t turned it into a business, while 22% said they had come up with two start-up ideas.

Of 10 major cities in the UK, Nottingham workers were found to be the “most worried” about starting a business with 67% concerned about the risk involved. Cardiff employees are the most confident about starting a business with less than 50% expressing concerns (see below).

Rank City Agree
1 Nottingham 67%
2 Manchester 64%
3 Edinburgh 60%
4 Glasgow 59%
5 Bristol 56%
6 London 55%
7 Newcastle 55%
8 Liverpool 54%
9 Birmingham 52%
10 Cardiff 48%


For those that had business ideas but didn’t make them happen, the main reasons given were a lack of financial backing (17%) and a lack of confidence in their abilities (17%), alongside the belief that their partner, friends and family wouldn’t support them (8%).

The study also found high levels of defeatism amongst British workers with 25% stating they wouldn’t start a business again if their first business wasn’t a success.

Moonfruit CEO and co-founder, Wendy Tan White, commented:

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“Starting a business can be a daunting prospect but I really urge budding entrepreneurs to give it a go. So many people come up with ideas but never act on them, and who’s to say we don’t have the next Emma Bridgewater or James Dyson in our midst?”


(will not be published)