Young entrepreneurs in the UK are becoming more optimistic about the future, defying wider patterns among business owners.

According to the findings of a survey of 4,000 UK adults conducted by Brown Shipley, 68% of entrepreneurs under 35 are satisfied that their personal and company goals are in sync, up from 64% in 2023.

In comparison, overall confidence among UK entrepreneurs has dropped to 47%, down from 60% last year.

Young UK business owners

When business owners are questioned about whether they see their company as their main source of wealth preservation for their families and themselves, a similar pattern emerges.

Just 42% of all entrepreneurs share the younger generation‘s 59% of entrepreneurs’ trust regarding the long-term strength of their business, a little decrease from 2023’s 53%.

Business growth plans also mirror these tendencies.

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As part of their company’s expansion plan, 24% of all UK entrepreneurs indicate they expect to look for outside funding in the next three years.

This is a decrease from 35% in 2023.

Moreover, entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are particularly likely to look for outside funding for expansion (47%), although this figure is declining year after year (64% by 2023).

Lastly, compared to their older counterparts, younger entrepreneurs are much more eager to sell their company, with 31% of those under 35 stating they plan to do so at some time.

This contrasts with 25% of business owners who are between the ages of 35 and 54 and 5% who are beyond 55.

Gordon Scott, head of investment & client solutions at Brown Shipley stated: “In a likely UK election year, today’s entrepreneurs face a complex business environment. Despite lower inflation and recently improved consumer confidence, growing one’s own business is never easy. That is especially true when it comes to generational wealth transfer, which may partly explain why confidence is markedly higher among younger entrepreneurs than their older peers.

“Every entrepreneur, no matter their age, can benefit from a holistic approach to managing their personal and business wealth over the long term. That includes navigating the complexities of tax-efficient investment structuring, pension and estate planning, and lifetime cash-flow modelling. While often natural risk-takers, entrepreneurs should plan for tomorrow even as they embrace the challenges of today.”