Mike Weddle, the city’s economic development coordinator, takes care of all the details for incubator tenants but I get to do the shameless promotion. Our prices are INSANE!!
Kent has offered “incubator space” for years and there’s a growing list of Kent companies that used the space to jump start their way into commercial success. The idea is to give emerging businesses a chance to keep their capital costs down so they can keep their money where it needs to be — in growing the business. The reality is more businesses fail than succeed in their first couple of years so Kent has tried to change those odds by lowering the start up costs required to get in the market.
So what type of person is likely to start a business in 2007? Well, last available government statistics on business startups revealed that the average entrepreneur is white, male, aged 36, is involved in the construction industry, educated to degree level and with previous work experience in the same sector as their business.
For a better indication of what type of people are starting up businesses, here’s a look at the statistics and trends for each characteristic of the entrepreneurial make-up:
The average age might be 36, but there is actually little difference in age between the 18 per cent of the working population aged 16 to 65 that are self-employed. Indeed, 23 per cent of entrepreneurs are aged between 45 and 54.
Starting a business is being promoted as a viable career option for young people more than ever before, but statistically, while this sector is likely to grow in the future, young people are more likely to consider starting up as a sideline venture or as a something to do later in life.
Despite this, one in ten current entrepreneurs are aged 16-24.
As mentioned above, men are twice as likely to start a business as women – but female numbers are quickly catching up. In 2002, the gap narrowed by 40 per cent in 2002 and with the government keen to continue more women in business, there’s every indication the trend will continue.
Education and career history
Educational background clearly has a large impact on entrepreneurship and rising levels of education can be associated with higher relative rates of enterprise activity. However, a significant minority – 5.5 per cent – has no educational qualifications whatsoever.
Half of active entrepreneurs have previously worked in the sector they start a business in.
According to the Small Business Service, every ethnic minority group is less likely to start a business than the white population. However, there is a higher number of Asian self-employed people than non-ethnic entrepreneurs as government statistics classify Indian, Pakistani / Bangladeshi and Indian entrepreneurs in separate ethnic groups – together they account for 45% of entrepreneurs.
What’s more, ethnic groups, especially the black population, are more likely to be thinking about starting a business than the country as a whole.
Unsurprisingly, the differing attitudes of entrepreneurs aren’t recorded – but perhaps they should be. Regardless of your age, background, sex or ethnicity your success an entrepreneur is likely to be down to your attitude to business.
If you’re determined, prepared to make personal sacrifices, have the ability to plan ahead and take on board advice while remaining focusing on your goal and also, of course, have a decent business idea you’ll have every chance of success wherever you’re from and whatever age you are.