More than 3 million UK workers want to start their own business in 2022

Almost half (42%) of UK employees dream of owning their own business 

According to a new nationwide survey published by Intuit QuickBooks today, 1 in 10 employees in the UK – equivalent to more than 3 million people want to start their own business in 2022. Almost half of UK employees dream of owning a business one day, showing that despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, new variants emerging, and rising inflation, the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than three quarters (76%) of budding entrepreneurs say that COVID-19 has accelerated their plans to start a business. The pandemic has enforced new ways of working and habits, such as increased time spent online. It’s also made individuals rethink their priorities by inducing feelings of uncertainty, confinement, and a lack of security. 

In the UK, the vast majority (84%) say they believe small businesses to be critical to the future of the UK economy, both locally and nationally, and London comes out as the most entrepreneurial region – where 64% of employees want to start a business - followed by Northern Ireland (51%) and the North West (48%).

Inflation pressure ignites entrepreneurship 

With inflation rates rising and average incomes failing to keep up, many people can no longer maintain their usual spending habits – 91% say inflation will force them to reduce spending over the next six months. While 97% are worried about inflation rates disrupting their life as they know it, this is also a key reason why so many want to become business owners: to boost their income and maintain their spending habits. 

When it comes to getting the cash to start up, two-thirds (63%) will fund their new venture with personal savings, while a third (31%) will seek extra funding after the business is established. Unsurprisingly, those who express the most concern about inflation are most likely to say they want to start a business. 

Customer loyalty will maintain start-up momentum 

While inflation is set to force consumers to cut spending, almost two-thirds (62%) say they want to keep supporting local businesses, a habit many adopted during the pandemic. Encouragingly, almost half (47%) of UK employees say they plan to spend more at small businesses over the next six months, while just one in ten (12%) will spend less – despite widespread consumer spending cuts. 

Viktoria Ruubel, Director of Product Europe at Intuit QuickBooks UK, says: “It’s refreshing to see that despite continued uncertainty from Covid-19, small businesses continue to be an increasingly important lifeline to our economy. It can often be hard to know where to begin for new entrepreneurs, yet this research found that businesses born out of this period of uncertainty have much of the knowledge they need already – their three top priorities are building a website, setting up an expense tracking system, and opening a business bank account. Helping new entrepreneurs embrace the digital and financial tools that will help their business get off to the best start is our ultimate goal, so we look forward to the opportunity to support millions more UK small businesses grow and prosper.”