Brits Urged To Seize 'Best Time In History' To Start Their Own Business

portrait of a successful...
portrait of a successful...

Britons have been urged to seize on the improving state of the economy and start their own business, as new research to mark the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week showed that British entrepreneurs are set to enjoy soaring revenues.

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who once ran the Pizza Express restaurant chain, said: "You could argue that now is the best time in history to start your own business in Britain."

"The economy is now growing pretty strongly and that's very helpful. I think the ever increasing importance of the digital economy means it's much cheaper to start a business, much quicker to experiment, quicker to fail and try something else."

"Next year we could well grow at 3%, that'd be easily the best rate in the OECD and we should be very grateful for that. We've had 5 or 6 years of stagnancy so 3% is epic compared to what we've had over the last few years."

Johnson's comments came as research released today to mark the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week revealed an increasing optimism among British entrepreneurs.

Andrew Devenport, CEO of Youth Business International (YBI), which is behind Global Entrepreneurship Week in the UK, blogged on HuffPostUK: "It's encouraging to know that there is now an increasingly bright light at the end of the tunnel for UK entrepreneurship. The current picture is much more reassuring."

According to the YBI's "Entrepreneurial Environment" report, 50% of British entrepreneurs expect their revenue to increase by 30% or more by 2016 while 90% are expecting an overall increase in revenue.

The research also found that 30% of British entrepreneurs are expecting to start another business in the next year, with the figure rising to 53% for first-time business owners. The findings reflect positive news for Britain's employment as most of the business owners (76%) say they will be employing up to 20 people three years after starting.

Luke Johnson, who also part-owns and chairs Patisserie Valerie, Gail's Artisan Bakery and Feng Sushi, told HuffPostUK that Britain was doing "pretty well" as a global hub to start up a business.

"I'd much rather be starting a business here than in the eurozone. Culturally I think we have embraced the idea of risk taking and wealth creation much more than in the past, which i think it's very positive.

"Entrepreneurship offers the freedom and the avoidance of office politics. The era of a job for life with a final salary pension scheme in the protected public sector is history for the most part. I think running your own show has became a much more friendly thing to do, whether it be a for-profit business or a social enterprise."

Johnson, who recently warned that TV shows like Dragons' Den and the Apprentice risked putting people off business, said: "I think they do distort the reality of running your own business. You're not able to fire people like Alan Sugar can and real venture capitalists don't invest in the way the Dragons pretend to on telly.

"I accept though it's entertainment and not a documentary, so they're after audiences rather than absolute truth - at least it does raise the profile of entrepreneurs in society."

"If you want big audiences, you have to have conflict and you have to pick extreme candidates and so the reality of day to day business is much more mundane. It isn't show business."

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