Young entrepreneurs to drag UK out of recession - RSA

Young entrepreneurs to drag UK out of recession

Press release

  • Creative economy
  • Enterprise

The numbers of young people who plan to set up their own businesses is booming according to our report, Generation Enterprise.

Working in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research, the RSA found that the ‘Millennial Generation’ displays an ‘unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit’ with almost a third of people aged 20-29 years old wanting to start their own business.

View the Generation Enterprise report

Commissioned by the RSA, the survey discovered that there has been increased entrepreneurialism across all age groups (although 20-29 year olds remain significantly ahead).

Further analysis commissioned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that the numbers of British 18-29 year olds in the early stages of setting up their companies has risen by 50 percent in the last year alone.

The entrepreneurial activity in young Welsh people has been particularly striking with a steady rise from 3.5 percent in 2002 to a remarkable 10 percent in 2011. Both surveys found that young people were concentrating their businesses in retail, hospitality and business services sectors.

The polls were released to coincide with the publication of the RSA report Generation Enterprise which concludes this boom in business spirit is down to the millennial generation grasping the power of modern technology.

Author of the report, RSA Director of Programme Adam Lent said:

"It will be the Millennials' insight and entrepreneurial spirit which will finally lift us out of the dire economic crisis. Over the coming years we will see younger generations produce new products and services that will generate a big leap in living standards."

The report comes as the RSA launches its new Action and Research Centre with a day of workshops for millennial entrepreneurs to consider the role their generation can play in helping the UK emerge from recession.

The report argues that like previous business revolutions we are currently entering a period of 'creative destruction' in which consumers are beginning to control production themselves.

Citing examples such as open innovation websites, social media companies, 3D printing, price comparison sites and peer to peer marketing sites such as Tripadvisor, the report predicts a new era of ‘self-generated value’ which will be as significant for living standards as many industrial revolutions of the past.  

View the Generation Enterprise report

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