Young entrepreneurs ‘to back Labour’

Over half feel UK has been favourable to small business

Young entrepreneurs across Britain are giving their support to Labour in the upcoming election, according to a new poll.

The survey by Shell LiveWire reveals 42% of young entrepreneurs believe Labour is the party to provide the best environment for small businesses.

Some 57% think that Britain has been favourable to small business start-ups since the last election, and an overwhelming 74% said they intend to vote in the forthcoming election.

Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents believe the current business climate will improve after the general election, but half report they are unsure.

“These young people feel there has been a good environment for business start-ups in the UK since 2001, but the survey also shows that they want reassurance that the situation for small businesses in Britain will continue to improve after this election,” said Duncan Robbie, director of Shell LiveWire.

The most disturbing number for Labour in the poll, however, was the lack of advice on enterprise at schools and universities. A third of the survey’s respondents cited this as being the biggest barrier to young people looking to run their own business.

A further lack of awareness of where to find the advice needed to start up contributed to the problem for 30% of respondents.

Although levels of entrepreneurship are rising, with 453,000 new businesses starting up last year, there are regional and ethnic disparities across the country.

One of the hallmarks of Labour’s campaign has been to “raise the quality and quantity” of apprenticeships and vocational education as part of a programme to improve the UK’s lagging number of skilled workers.

Labour is proposing a nationwide system of advice to bring together support on skills, jobs and careers to help bridge these regional and ethnic gaps.

However, any hopes the party has to rouse young people into entrepreneurship will be dashed by LiveWire’s finding that a mere 0.1% of young people surveyed said they were inspired by politicians to set up their own business.

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