The youngest generation of professionals in the United Kingdom claim to lack any entrepreneurial role models. Jeff Ber discusses the drastic contrast between entrepreneurship in the US and the UK.
In the United States, entrepreneurs are championed for their can-do and self-made attitudes. Their perseverance for building ideas into multi-million dollar companies from the ground up inspires American youth. But young professionals in the United Kingdom have stated that they cannot relate to this feeling — primarily because they cannot relate to their country’s entrepreneurs.
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, has risen from entrepreneur to business magnate throughout his career. For decades, Branson has been a household name in the United Kingdom. But with decades of business success across multiple industries under his belt, Branson’s entrepreneur days are far behind him. Young British professionals claim that they can’t see the inspiration or motivation in his success, because they weren’t around for it. For all of their lives, Richard Branson has been on top. This makes his success and status far from relatable and, therefore, not a source of inspiration for British youth and young professionals.
According to a survey hosted by Entrepreneur First, 76% of 18 – 30 year olds in the UK said that they lack entrepreneurial role models. Only one third of the same group believe that start-ups have the potential to change the world for the better. 47% of the survey takers also claim to be held back by a fear of failure and the pressure to conform to what’s socially acceptable in the professional world. In short, young British professionals are afraid to take leaps into the unknown and risky world of entrepreneurship — primarily because they have not been able to watch someone else take on that role.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the life of an entrepreneur is generally viewed as luxurious and rebellious. YouTube commercials hosted by young men surrounded by Lamborghinis urge America’s young professionals to quit their day jobs and leap into entrepreneurship. Tried and true entrepreneur, Jeff Ber believes that there should be a balance between America’s over-eager encouragement and Britain’s gloomy perspective on entrepreneurial pursuits. In his view, it is important to accept the reality of potential failure… but it is just as important to embrace the idea that without risk, there is often no reward.