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Exclusive research: supporting young entrepreneurs key to economic recovery

UK’s economy shrank by almost 20% in the three months to May, according to the Office for National Statistics, highlighting the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus in our society.

The lockdown imposed by Covid-19 resulted in hundreds of thousands of job losses and millions of workers placed on furlough, as companies across the country have been forced to tighten purse-strings, with many unable to survive months of significantly reduced income. The ONS figures suggest a slight economic growth of 1.8% in the month of May as some businesses returned and manufacturing began again in some sectors, but with millions of workers expected to remain on furlough and thousands of businesses likely to collapse, it is now more important than ever to support business leaders to regenerate the economy.

Now, new research from desktop factory specialists Mayku has revealed that young entrepreneurs and business leaders are the key to reigniting economic development, leading the way with new business creation and investment, but are also the most under-resourced.

According to Mayku’s nationally representative data, 18-24-year-olds represent the sector of the population most likely to set up their own businesses even after Covid-19, with almost half of those aged 18-24 (48%) considering building a business of their own (vs. only 27% of the wider public). The research also revealed that 18-24 year olds are most likely to invest money to build their own business, with 47% of this age group willing to invest £2000 of their own money in a business (vs. just 29% of the wider public).

  • 48% of 18-24 year olds are considering setting up their own business (vs. only 27% of wider public)

  • 47% of 18-24 year olds in Britain would invest £2000 in a business (vs. only 29% of wider public)

Furthermore, whilst the Coronavirus lockdown has impacted businesses and professionals across all sectors, it appears that young professionals have remained the most resilient. Despite the poor economic conditions, 38% of 18-24 year olds have stated that they have developed new ideas and have more motivation to create their own businesses as a result of lockdown (vs. only 22% of the wider public). Yet, young entrepreneurs are typically more underfunded and under-resourced than older generations, with a fifth (19%) of young entrepreneurs struggling to scale their businesses due to a lack of resource, vs just 13% of businesses owned by the wider public.

  • 38% of 18-24 year olds in Britain have been motivated to create their own business during the Covid-19 lockdown (vs. 24% of British workers across the board)

  • Despite being the most entrepreneurial sector of the population, 19% of 18-24 year-old business leaders say they are struggling to scale due to a lack of resources (vs. 13% of business leaders across the wider public).

  • CEO and Co-Founder of Mayku, Alex Smilansky* comments on the entrepreneurial spirit of young professionals and discusses the potential of young leaders to boost the economy:

“Our research clearly demonstrates the potential of young professionals in Britain to make significant, long term contributions to the strengthening of our economy and the expansion of British businesses, characterised by a resilience to the changing market conditions and a willingness to take risks to overcome obstacles.

  • If only a fraction of the number of people aged 18-24 continue down their path of building businesses, it could represent a huge and significant boost for the wider economy, especially in the creative sectors. However, it is clear that young entrepreneurs are struggling to access resources and investment, with the economic conditions and reluctance from the investment community holding back many business leaders with extreme potential.”*

CPO and Co-Founder of Mayku, Ben Redford, discusses the resilience of young entrepreneurs and calls for more investment, resources and support for 18-24 year old business leaders:

“It’s very clear that Britain has been hit hard by COVID, with the economy reeling from the damage caused by over three months of lockdown. However, at Mayku we have showcased the positive attitude and potential of young professionals in Britain to kickstart successful businesses, and now we must set about providing support, resources and investment to remove the barrier of entry and encourage more young people with entrepreneurial spirit to start their own companies and contribute to our economy.

Mayku are committed to democratising manufacturing and giving everyone the opportunity to build their own businesses across many sectors. Working with young entrepreneurs day in and day out, we are only too aware of how beneficial more support would be for the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit amongst young leaders. Both the public and private sectors must continue to support the endeavours of such entrepreneurial individuals, as this will lead to long term success and prosperity across multiple sectors.”

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