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Employees in the North West, Wales and South West of England dream of becoming a business owner

A study of 1,000 UK workers by Robert Half UK has revealed that employees in the North West, Wales and South West of England are harbouring dreams of running their own business at some point in their career.

  • Overall, 28% of UK workers hope to be a business owner – but only 23% say it’s a realistic ambition
  • Those in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston want to lead their own business and are confident they will achieve their dream

A study of 1,000 UK workers by Robert Half UK has revealed that employees in the North West, Wales and South West of England are harbouring dreams of running their own business at some point in their career. Cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Preston have the highest proportion of employees (35%) who aspire to go it alone and set-up their own company. 

Employees in the North West are not only dreaming big but they are also most confident about their chances of success, with 31% saying the role of business owner is a “realistic” ambition, compared to 23% nationwide. On the other hand, while those in Wales are more ambitious with 34% wanting to become a business owner, they also displayed a bigger gap between aspirations and reality. Only 9% were convinced that becoming a business owner was an attainable career goal. 

At the other end of the scale, employees in Northern Ireland and the East of England were less concerned about starting their own venture. Just 11% of employees in Northern Ireland cited becoming a business owner as an aspiration although 17% believed it could be a realistic career goal. Less than one in five (19%) employees in cities in the East of England including Cambridge and Peterborough dream of going it alone but 21% see it as achievable.  

Region

Employees with dreams of becoming a business owner

Employees who see being a business owner as a realistic goal

North West

35%

31%

Wales

34%

9%

South West

32%

20%

Scotland

30%

24%

London

30%

27%

Yorkshire

28%

27%

North East

27%

24%

South East

26%

16%

West Midlands

25%

28%

East Midlands

25%

17%

East England

19%

21%

Northern Ireland

11%

17%

UK average

28%

23%

*Data doesn’t total 100% as distinct samples shown.

“What this trend outlines is the changing world of work. While unlikely that all of those surveyed will start their own business, professionals today are increasingly looking for autonomy in their roles in order achieve a fulfilled working life. Employers can help them realise these ambitions in other areas – for example, by giving individuals opportunities to challenge themselves or take on new responsibilities,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “In today’s employment climate, skilled professionals have the ability to decide and design their own career paths, so businesses who proactively work with their employees to meet their goals will be better placed to retain them.