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57% of entrepreneurs willing to risk their personal finances in pursuit of business success

A new survey by NerdWallet, one of the UK’s leading financial comparison sites, has revealed that over half (57%) of Britain’s entrepreneurs are “very willing” to put their personal finances on the line to pursue their dreams of becoming the next Branson, Dyson or Sugar.  

With 66% of entrepreneurs choosing to start their own business in a bid to achieve financial freedom, NerdWallet’s survey reveals an attitude of ambitious risk-taking when it comes to personal finances among British business owners. 

  • 31% were willing to put their house on the line to make their business sustainable; with a further 45% giving it some serious thought.  
  • 36% were willing to risk their life savings to go all-in on their business venture; with 42% giving it some serious thought. 
  • 35% are not afraid to take on a massive loan to make their #BossLife dream a reality; with a further 44% giving it some serious thought.    

Many of the business owners surveyed have experienced challenges with securing financial backing (52%), choosing the right business insurance (31%) and growing their business to a point it turned a profit (40%).

Furthermore, significant compromises were made by many of them who admitted that they felt “daunted” by the financial risks involved. 

These risks included: living from paycheck to paycheck (33%), borrowing from friends and family (33%), taking on a major loan (35%), or putting their life savings (36%), mortgage (32%) or house on the line (31%), to see their business through its first year. 

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Although 16% of respondents had a business degree, the majority went into their new ventures with no formal training. 54% sought the counsel of financial advisers, 43% turned to banks/insurers, 42% read business magazines, and 39% took on a business mentor or coach to help them achieve startup success. Despite 91% of respondents feeling that being your own boss is glamourised on social media or in popular culture, only 28% turned to celebrities, influencers or Instagrammers for business tips. 

“It’s clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive across the United Kingdom, and it’s great to see that so many business owners are willing to give it all they’ve got to make their dreams become a reality,” says Denise Ko Genovese, a Senior Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet. “But our research also highlights that in order to reach their goals, these budding entrepreneurs and small business owners need the help of financial experts, from banks and insurers to business mentors and advisers, to ensure that their money is being put to good use and takes them in the right direction.”

Despite the many challenges thrown at modern business owners, 91% said they feel more optimistic now than pre-pandemic and, no matter how tough the business landscape is post-lockdown, 94% said they’d still do it all over again, reflecting just how strong entrepreneurial spirit in the UK remains. 

“The resilience and optimism shown by entrepreneurs, and business owners as whole, is admirable, and bodes well for the country’s future and post-pandemic recovery,” adds Ko Genovese. 

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More practical advice for setting up and running your own business can be found: 

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