Being an entrepreneur is a little easier now than, say, 20 years ago when they haven’t invented eCommerce and cloud capabilities yet. In recent years, entrepreneur statistics have shown that technological advancements result in a drastic rise in entrepreneurs.
People who had never even contemplated entering the business landscape are now managing to build successful businesses with little more than a brilliant idea and a home computer.
To top it off, according to entrepreneur stats, many of them are seeing high levels of success to boot. Check out our mind-blowing statistics that paint a pretty compelling picture of who’s making it big and how they’re doing it!
Top Entrepreneur Facts and Statistics (Editor’s Pick)
- There are 5.9 million small businesses in the UK as of 2020.
- 64% of the UK’s labour force wants to start a business.
- The average age of UK entrepreneurs is 40.
- 91% of UK entrepreneurs succeed after the first year.
- On average, UK startups spend £22,756 in their first year.
- 80% of entrepreneurs use their own money to fund their business.
- Globally, there are 582 million entrepreneurs.
General Entrepreneur Statistics in the UK
1. By 2020, the UK had 5.9 million small businesses.
Small businesses are businesses in the private sector with only 0–49 employees. In the UK, small businesses make up 99.3% of the total business population. If you include medium-sized enterprises, this number reaches 99.9%.
2. 64% of the UK’s workforce wants to start a business.
Looking at business startup statistics in the UK, we can conclude that many working individuals want to start a business. Despite a current focus on older entrepreneurs, Generation Z seems most keen here, with 4 in 5 individuals in this age group eager to break from traditional employment and go it alone.
Unsurprisingly, UK employment stats reveal that 75.90% of these individuals are based in London. More hearteningly, studies indicate that 63.30% of budding entrepreneurs are based in Scotland.
3. The average age of business owners in the UK is 40.
When it comes to starting a business, 40 is the average age, according to business statistics. This shows that it’s never too late to be a trailblazer. In fact, nearly 10,000 businesses have been started by entrepreneurs aged 60 and above.
4. 29.4% of entrepreneurs have only an A level or equivalent.
Statistics about entrepreneurs also reveal that, far from being university-educated, an impressive 29.4% of entrepreneurs have education levels no higher than A level, with just 9% holding a Bachelor’s degree in business or similar. When you look at entrepreneur facts, you’ll see that 11%of these individuals have no educational qualifications at all.
5. Two-thirds of entrepreneurs had no experience before starting their companies.
While half of all active entrepreneurs work in their fields in some capacity before starting businesses, an astounding two-thirds of business owners have no experience managing a business setting before breaking from the crowd. What better testament could there be for the fact that we are truly living in the entrepreneurial age?
6. Women run 34% of small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK.
(The HR Director)
When it comes to women entrepreneurs, statistics show that over a third of SMEs in the UK are run by women. This shows a significant improvement from 2017 when women ran only 19% of UK small businesses. However, we can’t deny that women are still underrepresented across the UK.
The discrepancy in women entrepreneur statistics is so large that it has incited investigation by the UK government. After all, it makes little sense that there are twice as many men as women in the entrepreneur market right now, given that women outnumber men in the general population by around 1 million!
7. 93% of the UK entrepreneurs are white.
Small business statistics in the UK show that just 7% of owners are members of an ethnic minority. This can be disheartening, considering that startups are easier to launch than ever.
While things have definitely improved from the even lower rate of 5% recorded in 2004, it seems we still have a long way to go to change entrepreneur trends in this area before we get to true equality within the landscape.
8. London and the South East accounts for 35% of the UK business population.
London and Brighton are considered the ‘startup capitals’ of the UK. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that small business startup statistics reveal that many entrepreneurs are choosing to start in these locations. London and the South East alone now account for over one-third of the UK business population.
Specifically, there are a little over 2 million private sector businesses in the London and South East areas compared to just 163,000 in the North East.
Failure and Success Rate of Entrepreneurs
9. Success rates for UK entrepreneurs are as high as 91% after the first year.
(Accounts and Legal)
Recent studies reveal that most UK businesses are still thriving after their first year of trading. This is contrary to previous business failure statistics in the UK, stating that first-year failure rates go up to 50%. This tells us that in recent years, success is becoming easier to come by.
10. 60% of small businesses fail in the first five years.
(Accounts and Legal)
Despite increasing first-year success rates, startup failure rate statistics sadly reveal that six out of ten small businesses continue to fail within their first five years.
Although small businesses are now lasting longer than they traditionally could, the figures on how many entrepreneurs fail show us that failure is a common outcome in the entrepreneur landscape. Of course, reasons for failure vary, but the top culprits seem to include a lack of goal-setting, poor management, insufficient capital, and the wrong location.
11. London has the lowest startup survival rate at just 50.1%.
Despite its popularity as a startup landscape, London’s entrepreneur failure rate is relatively high. Despite its nickname as ‘the world’s business capital,’ only half of London entrepreneurs will succeed in making a name for themselves.
In large part, this is due to the greater amount of businesses that arise there daily. While getting past the five-year hurdle here can be a sign of success that’ll take you far, the fierce competition makes that an increasingly difficult goal to achieve.
12. NE Scotland and the Highlands enjoy startup success rates of 61.2%.
Despite low entrepreneur growth, businesses operating in the northeast of Scotland are known to have success rates of as much as 61.2%. This is a drastic increase compared to more localised areas, thanks to reduced competition and a higher need for startups in the market.
The Cost of Entrepreneurship in the UK
13. Financial issues are the leading causes of small business failure.
Startups and small businesses fail for various reasons, but entrepreneur statistics in 2021 continually show that financial issues, such as running out of money and poor budgeting, are a leading problem. A vast majority of businesses fail within their first five years of operation due to this reason. Even in the modern landscape, many entrepreneurs don’t account for escalating stock and storage prices. So, as their businesses grow, their chances of success shrink.
14. 51.2% of UK entrepreneurs have a budget of £5,000 or less to get their business started.
(The Company Warehouse)
According to entrepreneur statistics in 2020, UK entrepreneurs have varying budgets when opening up a business. This highly depends on which sector their business belongs to. While 24.3% of startups have a budget of less than £1,000, the greater majority (28.2%) allot more than £10,000 to get their business started.
15. 75% of entrepreneurs in the finance and recruitment sectors have a budget of over £10,000.
(The Company Warehouse)
Entrepreneur statistics show that entrepreneurs in this sector have the highest budget to get their business up and running. On the other hand, entrepreneurs in the construction and creative sector have the lowest budget.
16. 67% of entrepreneurs in the creative sector have a startup budget of less than £1,000.
(The Company Warehouse)
Take a photographer, for example. Other than some good pieces of equipment and basic marketing, what would they really need to spend on to turn their hobby into a business? Additionally, according to entrepreneurial statistics, 100% of entrepreneurs in the construction industry that were included in the survey had a startup budget of less than £5,000.
17. Average UK startups spend £22,756 in their first year.
Legal fees, accountancy, HR department, and formation costs all add up to this initial first-year spend. In fact, a failure to account for these costs is a leading cause of early startup failures. Even individuals starting on a budget will quickly need to increase earnings to cover those expenses.
18. London-based entrepreneurs face the highest average cost of £30,211.
Yet again, London-based businesses take the fall from a financial standpoint. Entrepreneurship stats show that London-based entrepreneurs can expect to shell out a whopping £30,211 on average to get their business running.
In contrast, those in Wales need just £8,096 on average to get things going, according to entrepreneurship statistics. Of course, demand and customer availability mean that these expenses somewhat even themselves out. Still, they’re well worth considering during your initial startup efforts.
19. 80% of entrepreneurs fund their businesses out of pocket.
Despite a rise in funding opportunities for entrepreneurs in recent years, the fact of the matter is still that eight out of ten entrepreneurs fund their businesses out of pocket.
How Many Entrepreneurs in the World Are There
20. There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.
While the UK shares the top spot with the US for entrepreneur opportunities, these are far from the only countries enjoying this career change. The latest available entrepreneur statistics worldwide in 2020 reveal that there are now 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, with many operating from exotic locations.
21. The United States is continually voted as the most entrepreneurial country in the world.
According to the CEOWORLD Magazine Entrepreneurial Index, the US is the most entrepreneurial country globally, followed by Germany, the UK, Israel, and UAE. American entrepreneurs enjoy a varied business landscape that’s unrivalled anywhere else on the globe. With a large percentage of entrepreneurs in the world located in New York and California, it’s hardly surprising that roughly 62% of US billionaires are now self-made.
22. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are home to 13.5% of global startup deals.
(Center for American Entrepreneurship)
An astounding 13.5% of global startup deals happen in the Bay Area across the entire global landscape. That’s hardly surprising when big names like Google, Apple, and Facebook have all made their homes in these hot economic locations. That said, as with London, residents might want to think about high levels of competition before starting something new here.
23. India is ranked as the second-worst country in the world to start a business.
Despite being the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP, entrepreneur statistics reveal that India is widely rated as the second-worst place to start a business. Only Argentina is rated worse.
In large part, this is due to India being ranked the 70th most corrupt country by World Audit Corruption. A four-year business enforcement process in Indian courts is also a leading cause of entrepreneurial issues.
24. Slovenia, the UK, and North Macedonia are the cheapest countries to start a business.
Interestingly, entrepreneur facts also reveal that Slovenia, the UK, and North Macedonia all share the top spot as the cheapest startup countries, with a GNI per capita of just 0.1%. In large part, cost-saving here is thanks to relatively easy startup legal proceedings in each location.
25. South Sudan is the most expensive country to start a business.
The recently-formed African country of South Sudan is, by comparison, the most expensive country to start a business. Business statistics in South Sudan show that entrepreneurs can expect to pay up to 330.1% GNI per capita. It’s followed closely by Haiti with 253.3% GNI and the Central African Republic with 204.0% GNI.
26. There are an estimated 252 million women entrepreneurs worldwide.
Although the number of men entrepreneurs is still vastly higher than women, the latest statistics of women entrepreneurs show that the numbers are continually rising. It is common for women to be underlooked in the entrepreneurial landscape. Still, female founders have proven that they can start and grow some of the biggest startup companies worldwide.
27. Globally, 43.4% of women believe that they can successfully start a business.
Although there are numerous business ideas for women to excel in, there is a huge gender gap. Only 43.4% of women think they can start a business successfully, while this rate is 55.6% among men. Only one country reports women having a higher confidence level than men in starting a new business. That country is Angola, where women have 10% more confidence than men to start a new business.
Entrepreneurial Statistics Summary
After looking at these pressing statistics, you might wonder if you should start your own business now.
Well, the reality is that it all depends on where and how you undertake your efforts. Entrepreneurship has increased globally, and it will continue to do so, but it isn’t always as cut and dry as it may seem. There is a high probability that you will fail before you succeed.
But one thing is for sure: entrepreneur trends are changing all the time, and the next year might look incredibly different from today. So, you’ll want to keep yourself updated with the facts and figures to ensure you stay on top no matter what.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, over the years, entrepreneurs in the UK and globally have been rising in number. Various factors contribute to this rise, including cultural, economic, and technological factors.
Additionally, in the past year, as businesses closed and jobs were lost in many sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were other sectors that thrived. As a result, new opportunities opened up, entrepreneurship increased, and jobs were created.
The latest available data shows that only 9% of entrepreneurs have a Bachelor’s degree in business-related courses, while 3% of them have either a Master’s degree or a PhD. When it comes to college education, 67% of entrepreneurs have attended.
Lastly, 32% of business owners have at least taken a couple of business-related classes. These diverse entrepreneurial statistics show that successful entrepreneurs can come from any educational background. Therefore, having no college degree should not hinder anyone from trying their hand at being an entrepreneur.
Starting a new business isn’t exactly a cakewalk. That’s why not all entrepreneurs can be successful on their first try. According to recent statistics, 60% of small businesses fail within the first five years of operation.
Founding a startup company is even harder, which is why these companies have a 20% failure rate within their first year.
New businesses, regardless of their size, can fail for a variety of reasons. However, the top cause for failure is financial issues, including poor budgeting and running out of money. Business failure statistics in the UK even show that 29% of startups failed because they lacked money.
To manage these hurdles, entrepreneurs should, first and foremost, set a realistic budget to keep the business afloat. They should also be able to look for reliable funding options from various outlets before they even need it.
In the UK, the average age to start a new business is 40. Additionally, an estimated 10,000 businesses were started by entrepreneurs over the age of 60. In the United States, entrepreneur statistics show that the average age to be a successful founder of a startup company is 45. Experts think that their work experience plays a huge part in their success.