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As part of our research in developing Mishcon Future and to support our goal to shape a better world through innovation, we surveyed more than 500 founders of businesses with annual revenues ranging from under £100,000 to more than £500 million. Their companies operate in sectors including life sciences, manufacturing, professional services, automotive, among others.
The report throws up some fascinating insights into the minds of those at the heart of the innovation economy, including:
- A significant proportion of entrepreneurs (39%) believe the overall level of risk in the business environment is higher now than it was 12 months ago, and the same proportion (39%) think the level of risk will only increase in the coming year. Less than a quarter (23%) of entrepreneurs think the level of risk will be lower in 12 months’ time.
- The most common risk affecting entrepreneurs’ businesses right now is the difficult economic climate – with 49% of founders stating it is impacting them. This is followed by supply chain disruptions (38%), and Britain’s unfavourable tax regime (27%). Entrepreneurs expect these three challenges to remain as the biggest risks impacting their businesses in 12 months’ time.
- Despite this, nearly three fifths (59%) of entrepreneurs believe it will be easy to attract the funding their business needs or to achieve an appropriate market valuation within the next 12 months in Britain, against 13% who think it would be difficult.
- Finally, 43% of founders agreed that Labour Party politicians understand what their businesses need to succeed, against 26% who disagreed – giving a ‘net approval’ score of +17%. 35% of entrepreneurs think that Conservative Party politicians understand what their businesses need, compared to 37% who do not – giving a net approval score of -2%. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have a net approval score of +5%, the Greens -2%, and the SNP -3% on the same question.
The results have helped us to shape our thinking as we develop what we hope will be the leading professional services firm dedicated to meeting the needs of the innovation ecosystem. We intend this to be an annual exercise in talking to UK founders to better understand their attitudes to risk, the ongoing pressures of starting, running and selling a business and the support that they need to survive and thrive.
Commenting on the report, Ed Turner, Chair of Mishcon Future said: “Risk is central to most stories in business. For successful entrepreneurs, the real trademark is a mastery in identifying risks, and an ability to manage them as opportunities as much as they are threats.”
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