The rise of young entrepreneurs

by | Jul 22, 2021

ClearView Research, in collaboration with a group of young people from across England, recently conducted research on employment prospects for young people in England aged 16-25 years in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Young people who decide to pursue entrepreneurship face many key barriers to business creation and self-employment. Research has found that despite a high interest in self-employment only 6.5% of working youth in the European Union (EU) were self-employed in 2018. Young people (18-30 years old) in the EU were less likely than adults to feel they had the knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship, and 44.5% of young people in the EU viewed fear of failure as a barrier to entrepreneurship.

We funded this research to gain a better understanding of the experiences of young entrepreneurs in England, especially those facing multiple challenges, such as discrimination, socio-economic challenges, having a criminal record and having caring responsibilities. This research aimed to explore the different motivations, needs, and lived experiences of young people in England who face multiple barriers and are pursuing entrepreneurship.

A key highlight of the project was the involvement of eight young entrepreneurs who infused the project with their lived experiences. They worked with ClearView and our two Future Voice members, Annie and Naomi, to co-create the research questions, and conducted interviews and focus groups with other young entrepreneurs.


Annie, one of our Future Voice Ambassadors commented on the report:


The “Alternative Career Routes – the Rise of the Young Entrepreneur” was a fascinating read that left me wanting to put more hours into my existing, budding social enterprise.

I think some of the most interesting findings to me centred around the lack of resources young entrepreneurs had. I definitely agree that crucial information from official sources are often difficult to digest for young entrepreneurs and I also relate a lot to the real difficulty young entrepreneurs face in securing funding, whilst I’m not at that stage yet I’m already preemptively terrified!

I wholeheartedly agree with all of the suggestions that were made in the report for the Youth Futures Foundation and beyond. We should definitely be advocating for entrepreneurship as a legitimate option for young people. I’d like to see us commission more research into the difficulties of acquiring funding for young entrepreneurs alongside more research into racial and gender disparities in young entrepreneurship. I definitely would love to see investments into organisations that are taking strides to provide young entrepreneurs with the knowledge, resources and confidence to succeed.


Read the full report here.
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