Network for Youth in Transition


Rise in young entrepreneurs starting businesses by 15%

Newsbeat's been given exclusive figures showing a 15% jump in young people starting businesses in just two years.

The number of 16-24 year olds in business has gone up from 26,000 in 2008 to over 30,000 in 2010.

"The cost is quite low, and can be done from back bedrooms", says Adam Swash from Experian.

A third of those start-ups stop trading after 3 years, according to research.

Failure rate

If someone over 25 years old starts their own business there's a 50:50 chance of it surviving for more than 3 years, the Experian figures say.

But it's closer to a one in three chance for the under 25s.

One explanation for this is people in their late teens or early 20s don't tend to have as much experience, business know-how or cash.

Another reason is younger bosses are more likely to start-up in easier areas, Adam Swash from Experian says.

"Retail, hospitality, catering, construction," Adam lists as the most common areas of business.

"But these industries are pretty much at the whim of consumer spending at the moment and they're tough."

There's no reason young entrepreneurs can't make a go of it despite the doom and gloom, he says.

Advice for young entrepreneurs is do as much planning as possible and team up with an older partner or mentor.

Make a job, don't take a job

Nikki Hesford isn't your average entrepreneur. She got pregnant at 17 and did glamour modelling to pay her way through university.

She graduated in 2008 just as the recession kicked in. Nikki says she applied for about 90 jobs.

"I couldn't even get £9,500-a-year roles and I thought, oh my God, this is worse than I expected."

Nikki Hesford, 26, on why she started up her own business.

"I couldn't even get £9,500-a-year roles and I thought, oh my God, this is worse than I expected."

She had another problem too - getting interview outfits to fit her size 8, 34D frame which gave her a business idea.

Nikki decided to start an online store selling clothes for slim but curvy women.

The 26-year-old admits it's not been easy and says banks laughed at her when she asked for loans.

Even when her website was set up, nothing happened. It took 6 weeks for her first order to come in.

Three years on and her company Miss Fit UK now sells to major high street chains and she's expecting to bring in a quarter of a million pounds this year.

Nikki's top tip for young entrentpreneurs is to be resilient."You'll get so many people saying, no thank you. Sometimes no doesn't mean no, it means not now."

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