26th Sep 2012
Pupils who are given the opportunity to run a business at school are almost twice as likely to set up their own company than those who have not, an academic study has shown.
Research carried out by Kingston University Business School, for business education charity Young Enterprise, found that 42% of 'alumni' who had attended Young Enterprise programmes in the last 50 years had gone on to set up and run their own business, compared to 26% of a control group who had not experienced enterprise education at school.
MP for Tottenham and former education minister David Lammy took part in the Young Enterprise programme in 1982. He said there is too great an expectation that people will become employed rather than becoming employers.
"We need to get right back in touch with what it means to run your own business and we need generation X, Y and the millennium generation to have this at their core," he remarked.
The report also revealed that 12% of alumni firms had a turnover of £500,000 compared to 3% of non-alumni. In addition, they are more likely to be more robust in a downturn, with almost 50% saying that boosting sales was a top priority in the recession.
"The evidence presented in this report demonstrates that Young Enterprise alumni are more likely than average to run their own business; be serial entrepreneurs and show resilience in developing strategies to cope with difficult times," said Dr Rosemary Athayde, author of the report. "The businesses they run are more likely to be innovative, limited companies, employ others and have a larger turnover than the typical small firm in the UK."