The Business Concept Q4 2023

UK’s budding entrepreneurs stifled by cost of living crisis Nearly all (97%) of budding entrepreneurs across the UK feel that there are factors holding them back from starting a business, with the cost of living crisis heading up the list, referenced by nearly four out of ten (38%) as a top barrier. Underlining the prevalence of money-related concerns, the next most important barrier was ‘perceptions of the financial cost’ (cited by 26%). These were among the main findings of recent research, commissioned by the AI-driven business planning enterprise, Venture Planner, which polled the views of 2,000 people across the UK, who had previously considered starting their own business, either on their own or in partnership with others. Very few of the survey sample don’t know their market or lack motivation, or confidence in their skills, but 24% are nevertheless hampered by a fear of failure, and the same percentage are unsure of ‘where to begin’. More than nine out of ten respondents (91%) see “having the knowledge to create a business plan’ as a concern. The survey also reveals that the drive to become an entrepreneur is also in part the dream of realising the vision of an alternative lifestyle. Nearly half of the sample (46%) said that if they were to set up a new business, it would definitely be in a different sector from the one they are working in now. 48% say my current sector pays the bills but dream of working in a sector that aligns with their personal interests, while 41% say they would set up in a different sector to achieve a different lifestyle, or work-life balance. Alex Clansey, co-founder and CEO of Venture Planner, comments on the findings: “The data from our survey paints a vivid picture of the obstacles that stand in the way of prospective business founders helping both to realise the UK’s entrepreneurial potential and satisfy their own dreams. Our platform is designed to break down these barriers, offering intuitive, AI-powered tools to help anyone, from seasoned entrepreneurs to aspiring solo business owners, to confidently navigate the complexities of business planning and financial management.” Almost all dreamers and entrepreneurs feel they need support with at least one aspect of business planning., with 55% believing they need help with financial forecasting. AI is increasingly seen as a potential way forward. More than three-quarters of budding entrepreneurs (78%) say they would either ‘maybe’ or ‘definitely’ consider using an AI tool to help generate a business plan, while fewer than one in five (18%) said they were not sure where AI can help. Moreover, despite the fact that AI is new and unfamiliar to many, 42% of the sample would trust it as much as, or more than a human generated plan. Nicola McKenzie, co-founder, Venture Planner, said: “Many people today get their business advice either from online articles or from social media. 39% of our survey sample say they have followed and engaged with social media content from entrepreneurs or influencers as part of their research into starting a business. Actually by using an AI tool created by financial planning specialists, you are going to learn a lot more about the feasibility of your business idea. So, rather than scrolling through social media for hours to find business advice that is not personalised to your needs, have a go on Venture Planner and bring your dream to life.” AI-driven business planning tools offer new hope