Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of young people hope to start their own business but say a lack of funding and practical experience is putting them off, according to new research by YouGov commissioned by The Prince’s Trust and LDC.

The research, which polled over 2,000 18-30 year olds on their future ambitions, found that a lack of funding (57 per cent), a lack of practical business experience (49 per cent) and ‘fear of failure’ (48 per cent) were the most commonly cited barriers to becoming their own boss.

Better access to practical business management expertise (67 per cent), financial support (66 per cent) and mentoring (42 per cent) were said to be the most useful resources in helping them get their idea off the ground.

The research coincides with the launch of Backing Youth Ambition, a new partnership between The Prince’s Trust and LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, to support youth enterprise across the UK.

The three-year initiative aims to help over 1,200 young people explore and launch their own businesses through start-up grants and additional funding for The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. LDC is also providing support through fundraising, volunteering and mentoring activity across its regional offices, employees and investee companies. 

Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of the Princes Trust, said: “Starting a business can transform a young person’s life and is a brilliant way for them to fulfil their potential and gain a greater stake in our society. Since 1983, The Trust has helped more than 88,000 young people to realise their ambition of running their own business, but it’s clear from this research that there are many more out there who feel this is something that is out of their reach. Together with LDC, we will help to break down the barriers these young people are facing and give as many of them as possible the confidence and opportunity to become their own boss.”

Martin Draper, CEO at LDC, said: “Young entrepreneurs are essential to a thriving economy.  What is clear, is there is no shortage of ambition amongst young people to be their own boss. The imperative is to show them that financial and practical support is out there to give them the confidence to start their own business.

“For decades, The Prince’s Trust has been encouraging young people to take that first step and brings a wealth of expertise and resources. We’re excited to join forces and support their mission, helping to back the ambition of young people and create a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

The research also found that a third (31 per cent) of respondents would prefer to start a business with a family member or friend, whilst three quarters (72 per cent) think the school system should educate young people about business ownership.

The main drivers for young people looking to start their own business was having greater flexibility and control over working hours (58 per cent) and making a difference (42 per cent) with less than a third (32 per cent) saying their motivation was to ‘get rich’.

Despite a new wave of entrepreneurs making their fortune from reality television and social media, research shows that established entrepreneurs like Richard Branson remain the most important role models for young people, with 28 per cent of respondents stating they would aspire to be like him as opposed to the so-called Instagram generation of business celebrities like Kylie Jenner (4 per cent).

As the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, LDC invests in a diverse range of medium sized businesses across every region and sector of the UK economy. LDC partners with ambitious management teams to grow bigger, more sustainable businesses and its current portfolio of 90 companies collectively employs 32,500 people and contributes more than £5billion to the UK economy each year. LDC is committed to backing ambition and has pledged to invest £1.2billion in medium sized businesses over the next three years. Find out more about LDC and the companies it supports here: www.ldc.co.uk