Half of UK adults say lack of funding stops great business ideas in their tracks

Research released by Virgin StartUp shows that almost a third of UK adults (30%) say they have thought of a great idea for a business, yet half (50%) say a lack of funding stops them making their idea a reality.

The findings were revealed by Virgin StartUp, the not-for-profit organisation, which gives budding entrepreneurs the funding, information and support they need to get their business ideas off the ground.

The findings show a number of hurdles would-be UK entrepreneurs face when trying to make a business idea a reality:

  • Almost a quarter (24%) said they would be too embarrassed to share a business idea in case someone thinks it’s stupid.
  • Over one in four (27%) felt sharing a business idea would be a waste of time as they would never follow it through.
  • Over a third of workers (39%) agreed that their workplace fails to encourage them to share ideas outside of their usual role.

Virgin StartUp is now urging would-be business owners to contact them and find out how they can overcome these hurdles and get access to funding and support.

Over the past year, the organisation, one of the official delivery partners of the Start-up Loans Company backed by the UK government, has awarded £3.4 million in start-up loans to 417 businesses. Almost a third of those businesses (32%) are already making a profit and almost two-thirds (63%) are expecting to see steady growth. The benefits of Small and Medium Businesses are clear – they are currently estimated to be worth £378bn to UK plc.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, said, “A lack of funding shouldn’t hold brilliant entrepreneurs back. It’s concerning that people don’t feel able to get their business ideas off the ground when there’s so much support available to them. Launching your own business is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things you can do. I would urge people to take the next step and speak to the Virgin StartUp team, you never know where it may lead you.”

The results were announced as Virgin StartUp launched a nationwide competition for would-be business owners to win a mentoring session with Sir Richard Branson. The #mentormebranson competition is an opportunity to learn how to make great business ideas a success.

Two entrepreneurs, who have reaped the benefits of working with Virgin StartUp and its delivery partner in the North-East, TEDCO Business Support, are Jenny Scott, 26 and Corrie Thomas 26 from Newcastle. They set up Seasons Plenty, a catering business. Jenny said:

“The support I received from Virgin StartUp and TEDCO Business Support was invaluable, it really helped us to get our business off the ground , turning what could have been a pipe dream into a reality. Launching a business doesn’t happen overnight but the transition from a great idea to a successful business can happen if you have the right funding, mentoring and advice in place.”


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