Young SME owners prioritise strategy over convenience

New research has found that the majority of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing out on the benefits of government driven initiatives and collaborative opportunities, with just seven per cent of start-up owners choosing to actively work in business zones and clusters.

Furthermore, the Opus Energy study found that there are distinguishable differences in the way younger and older entrepreneurs consider different factors relating to where to carry out business.

According to the findings, younger entrepreneurs value the talent, skill sharing and networking opportunities an area can offer, whereas older entrepreneurs look to work where is most convenient for them and their family.

77 per cent of entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 34 acknowledge that working with likeminded businesses in a similar field would aid their productivity, both commercially and competitively.

However, only 38 per cent of business owners aged over 35 years old agreed that working in a likeminded environment would work well for their business, and many of the older respondents said that they have reservations due to fears that their ideas would be stolen, there would be high employee turnover or clients would be fickle.

Nikki Flanders, chief operating officer at Opus Energy, said: “Setting up a business is not a small undertaking, and there are many important decisions to be made before a company is born. Regional initiatives are available to businesses to help them progress – for example, the government’s Regional Growth Fund or business grants from local councils – so it’s worth investigating a range of locations for your start-up, even if they’re not so convenient.”

A record 650,000 businesses were set up in 2016, with London appearing to be the most popular choice of start-up location in the UK.