UK entrepreneurs breaking the mould, says survey

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Britain's entrepreneurial culture is maturing, according to a new report from Ernst & Young. More than 50 per cent of today's entrepreneurs have a university degree and their average age is in the mid-40s, the research said.

‘The new generation of entrepreneurs have for the most part finished school, spent time at university and in some industries such as financial services, 20 per cent have gone on to gain an MBA. All of these figures present a striking contrast with the entrepreneurs of 20 years ago,’ said Ernst & Young.

The European Union and its constituent governments have made it a priority over the past two years to foster a more entrepreneurial culture. They believe that small businesses and start-ups are critical to job creation throughout the economy. This latest report will make encouraging reading.

The report found that 72 per cent of British entrepreneurs are over the age of 36 and that for 43 per cent of respondents, their current business is not their first entrepreneurial venture.

 ‘Responses to the 2002 survey show that the old clichés about entrepreneurs are fading away,’ said David Wilkinson, head of entrepreneurial services at Ernst & Young. ‘The hundreds of entrants to our Entrepreneur Of The Year programme have all come from different backgrounds, but have a common aspiration to make a success of themselves and their business.’

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