The rise of "generation start-up"

Date: 22 October 2018

The rise of “generation start-up”

The number of young UK business directors has increased by over a third in the past year, according to the latest data.

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have been dubbed "generation start-up" because of the continued rise in the number of young people starting their own business.

The number of millennial directors of SMEs in the UK increased by 37% to 56,000 in 2017/18, up from 41,000 in the previous year, according to accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

The trend has been driven by a number of factors - not least the post-credit crunch job market that many graduates faced upon leaving university. In particular, challenges facing the banking sector in 2007-2008 led to many individuals spinning off and setting up their own fintech businesses.

Since then, the rise of the gig economy has given more young people a taste of managing their own workload.

Moore Stephens says many of the entry barriers to starting a business, including launch costs, are much lower than in previous years. The growth in cloud computing and "software as a service", for example, has cut the up-front cost of IT needed for a small business.

The increased availability of shared and flexible workplaces has also helped make it easier for a start-up to launch and scale up. In 2017, flexible workplaces represented 4.5% of total stock of central London office space, up from 1.7% in 2007, according to data from Cushman and Wakefield.

Ross Northall, partner at Moore Stephens, said: "The dream of launching a start-up has become increasingly attainable to many. The rise of the gig economy and the tough market for graduate jobs has obvious downsides but these may have acted as a catalyst for young entrepreneurs to strike out on their own."

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