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Research  shows two thirds of British teenagers want to run their own business, but eight in ten believe schools are failing them at early stage

Eight in ten British  teenagers, aged 13-18, believe their school is failing to give them enough information on how to start their own business, according to research conducted by accountancy firm Shelley Stock Hutter LLP. Just one in ten believe their school is giving them enough information with the remainder undecided.

More than 2000 teenagers[1] across England, Scotland and Wales took part in the research ([1] Female/male ratio of respondents was 60:40.  589 respondents were based in London and the South-East with the remaining spread across all parts of England, Scotland and Wales) .  Nearly two thirds (65%) stated they  would like to run their own business when they are older.  Nearly half of these respondents (47%) would like to set up their own business by the time they are 25.  16% would like to do so when they are aged 16-19.

Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs would like to have businesses in a wide range of industries including technology, advertising, property, hotels and restaurants, beauty and one teenager even stated he would like to take on Richard Branson and Stelios Haji-loannou and own an airline!

Other highlights of the research include:

–         Top answer for what makes a successful business person was ‘you need to be good with people’, followed by ‘you need to have a good idea’

–         30% of teenagers said the person they most admire in business is their mum or dad

–         50% of the  teenagers would go the Bank to get money to start their own business, whilst 20% would go family or friends

–         Eight in ten teenagers would like to go to university when they leave school

–         50% of teenagers surveyed have already done work experience and this has included everything from mechanic, teaching, photographer to working in a law firm.

Bobby Lane, Partner at Shelley Stock Hutter LLP adds: ‘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.  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.  Schools must look at ways to ensure the fundamentals of how to set up and  run your own business are covered in the early years of the secondary school curriculum.

‘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.

‘Whilst teenagers recognise that one needs to be good with people and be able to sell in order to be a successful business person, one has to question whether they are really developing these interpersonal skills at all.  In today’s age socialising seems to be more online than face to face and if today’s teenagers are going to be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, then this needs to be addressed.’