Why young people are scared of starting a business and why franchising could be a safe route to entrepreneurship


We recently came across a report commissioned by Google which revealed that the majority of young people surveyed wouldn’t be interested in starting their own business. More specifically, four out of five of the 1,000 15- to 18-year-olds who took part in the survey said that they would rather work for a well-established company, while 50% said that they did not want to take any risks when it comes to their income.

A combination of debt, unemployment and rising house prices is limiting the prospects of millions of young people across the country and even though those living in the UK have better prospects compared to other European countries, this will be the first generation which will be poorer than their parents. This, combined with the start-up failure rates and uncertainty over the future economy, can make a lot of young people find the idea of setting out on their own without any support daunting.

However, when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit of the country’s younger generations, it’s not all doom and gloom. Following the recent statistics of its latest survey which revealed that over the last two years almost one in five new franchisees has been aged under 30, the British Franchise Association recently launched its ‘In Business by 30’ campaign to celebrate young people who have invested in franchises across a wide range of sectors to build successful businesses.

So what makes franchising so appealing to young people and is it the safest route into entrepreneurship?

Franchising can offer a great opportunity to those who want to build a successful business but don’t necessarily want to tap into something which is new and untested in the market. It gives people access to an already established brand and all the benefits that come with it, which means they can hit the ground running instead of coming up with the ‘next big thing’ and trying to find the best way to market it. For young people who are concerned about risk and instability, this can offer reassurance.

Another really important factor which makes franchising particularly appealing to young people and is key to their success, is the ongoing training and support. According to research from ACAS, young people’s success when entering the work market is not just shaped by their skillset and personality traits but also influenced by the support they receive from management. Also, the relationship between young people and management is a critical factor in early career experience.

When starting out on your own if you require support or are looking to develop new skills, you have to actively look for a suitable mentor or training courses. The beauty of being part of an efficient franchise operation is that you are your own boss and are responsible for yourself, however you get ongoing training and support from the head office. An added benefit is that when you’re part of a wider network, there will always be someone else who has almost certainly encountered any situation you will come across giving you the ability to access a ready supply of advice, encouragement and practical examples of how to deal with issues you may face. This may be informal, but it’s also a vital part of the training and learning process.

Buying a franchise may sound like a serious investment to make when you’re still young but it can definitely help you build a bright future for yourself in an economy where many people are either unemployed, underemployed or underpaid. If you are a young person with entrepreneurial spirit but are uncertain about setting out on your own, taking the leap into franchising may be the best option.