Two-thirds of UK teenagers have entrepreneurial ambitions

But vast majority believe schools failing them at early stage

An increasing number of youngsters in the UK have entrepreneurial ambitions, with two-thirds of teenagers saying they would like to run their own business, according to a poll.

The study of 2000 youngsters aged 13-18 commissioned by chartered accountants Shelley Stock Hunter found that whilst entrepreneurial ambition was widespread, eight out of ten respondents believed their school was failing to give them enough information on how to set up in business.

Just one in ten pupils expressed satisfaction with their schools’ support, with the remainder undecided.

Shelley Stock Hunter said the results showed a pressing need for schools to look at ways to integrate enterprise skills into the national curriculum given the interest in the subject.

The study also found that of the respondents who indicated a desire to start a business, almost half (47%) planned to do so by the age of 25, with 16% planning to start between 16-19.

However, the widespread endorsement of enterprise as an option did not diminish most students’ desire to pursue further education, with 80% still planning to attend university after school.

Bobby Lane, partner at Shelley Stock Hunter LLP, commented: “It’s great news that we have a nation of hungry young entrepreneurs who are inspired to make something of their lives and run their own business.

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“Yet a staggeringly high percentage of teenagers feel they don’t have the information to take the next step and turn this into a reality.

“It’s interesting that so many teenagers feel that going to university would be the best option after leaving school.  With so many keen to run their own business by the time they are 25, it begs the question whether getting a degree in this age is the best path for all.

“Some teenagers should consider the value of getting intern placements, becoming an apprentice and learning on the job – undoubtedly this experience will provide a range of valuable skills before they set up their own business.”


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