Did you know there are just under 6 million small businesses in the UK and more than 1,000 startups every day? Out of that number, 450,000 16-24-year-olds run a business venture supported by numerous young enterprise organisations that provide help and support.
A survey conducted with more than 2,000 entrepreneurs across all age groups revealed that having their own business was their goal from an early age, with 32% thinking about it before turning 18, rising to 80% in 19 to 24-year-olds. The average age of people starting their own business is dropping, so if you are a young entrepreneur and want to turn that great idea into a business, you are not alone!
Starting a business at any age is quite challenging as there are several hurdles you are bound to face. Thinking of a good idea is great but turning it into a profitable business is another. Thankfully, this has not discouraged the growing numbers of young entrepreneurs aged under 18 wanting to achieve entrepreneurial success. One of the biggest obstacles is financial – essential to keeping your business afloat.
Bank accounts and capital to start your business
if you are under 18, you legally can’t have a business bank account, borrow money, or credit card. However, there are still some options open to you:
- Ask a member of your family to fund your venture
- Open a joint account with a family member or willing adult
- Apply for a grant from schemes or trusts specifically designed for those under 18
You don’t need a physical location or customer base, thanks to the internet. You need a laptop with access to a stable internet connection, and you are well-equipped to start an online business and begin building it. Do not let a lack of funds barrier your business ideas.
Interesting fact: Wealthy entrepreneur Peter Jones started his tennis academy at his local club at just 16?
Balance is key
Starting your new venture is exciting, although you need to consider the number of hours you can legally work as a young entrepreneur. Young individuals face many different challenges when it comes to finding work, education and social balance. For example, individuals under the age of 16 need to attend an educational institution full-time, and there are also restrictions on the hours they can work per week.
Getting the right balance is crucial for healthy living, having a fun time with your family, and making sure that you can progress in your future endeavours.
Age is not an obstacle.
Being new in business is one thing; being young businessperson is another. Speaking to people that are older than you or may have more experience can be intimidating, even more so when you’re a minor, but it should not limit you nor give you a lack of confidence.
As a young entrepreneur, you want to conduct yourself professionally because you want to do business with like-minded people who will respect you and give you the same respect back. Don’t be afraid to approach those already successful for advice and help, as it could prove invaluable for your future business development. You never know who might like your idea and decide to invest.
Here are a few tips to help you
- Dress appropriately – No tracksuits in the boardroom.
- Be on time – This shows that you are serious and reliable.
- Do your homework – Educate yourself on your business to ensure you can answer any questions directed at you without any hesitation.
if you are looking for free training to help you gain career confidence and self-awareness, then The Young Employment UK will be able to help you. Furthermore, their professional knowledge in the field of careers will assist you in making the best decision.
Golden rule: Ask for help!
The following organisations can provide you with assistance with practical business support and advice, plus information on funding opportunities to help your ideas make a difference.
- Young Enterprise & Young Money – Offers business, financial and entrepreneurial development.
- The Peter Jones Foundation – Yes, that’s right, Peter Jones from Dragons Den. The Foundation was created to support the future of young people whilst inspiring a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurialism in the UK.
- Youth Enterprise Bank – grants of up to £1,000 offered to eligible candidates
- YES- Advice and inspiration for young people starting in business
The inspiring stories of two young entrepreneurs
Need some inspiration? Find out more about the journey these young entrepreneurs have been on to achieve their goal of having their own successful business.
- Henry Patterson (18 years old)
Henry was able to obtain government funding to help with the self-publishing of his book. The book, thousands of copies, allowed Henry to expand the business by introducing new products such as bags, cards,r and nappy pouches based on the characters from his novel.
- Nina Devani (17 years old)
Nina Devani is a 17-year-old young entrepreneur who started her business, DevaniSoft, when she was 14 years old. Devanisoft sells computer software that helps people remember of their passwords which then prevents them from having to store their information online and be at risk of getting hacked.
How the UK government can help young entrepreneurs
The UK is a leading destination for entrepreneurs and high-growth companies. The government encourages individuals to invest in their ideas and open businesses by providing support for entrepreneurs through the following channels:
- The government has created a support helpline where individuals can get advice and financial aid from government-backed schemes.
- Individuals have access to 38 growth hubs located across England. If you’re new to the business, the growth hub can help you develop your idea and accelerate your startup through practical workshops and meetings with people who have experience running a small business.
- Introducing new laws for small businesses to have access to invoice finance
- The small office commissioner aids small businesses in payment disputes with large organisations.
The UK is creating a dynamic and supportive environment for young entrepreneurs through the industrial strategy. The strategy’s sole purpose is to create an environment in which one thrives.
Accounting support for young entrepreneur startup businesses
Starting your small business venture might be a challenge when you launch it, but it is also the start of an exciting period in your business journey. We love helping young entrepreneurs succeed and enjoy hearing about great commercial ideas, their vision, and long-term goals.
Fusion Accountants in London offers support to many start-up businesses with essential accounting support and advice overseeing their finances to focus on building a successful business. It takes more than a dream to launch a business, and that’s why we are so excited to be working with the next generation of entrepreneurs.
As specialist eCommerce accountants, Fusion Accountants understand precisely how your business operates, enabling you to grow through intelligent accounting and financial insights. Hiring an eCommerce accountant will help tackle all your accounting requirements into more consumable data resulting in more time to focus on what you do best, managing and growing your business.
Being a young adult who wants to enter the business world comes with many responsibilities and obstacles. Having a good work-life balance is vital in ensuring personal growth while moving towards your goals. Don’t worry that you don’t know enough, or you think you are too young. There are several resources available, and if you’re willing to work hard, nothing should stop you from pursuing your dream.
Starting your own business needs determination, self-belief, and good organisation skills – just as if you were working for someone else. But as this article has shown, if you are a young entrepreneur with a great idea, pursue your dreams of starting your own business. Believe in yourself, and good luck!