UKs most ambitious regions revealed, Robert Half

A study of 1,000 UK workers by Robert Half UK has revealed that employees in the North West, Wales and South West of England are harbouring dreams of running their own business at some point in their career. Cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Preston have the highest proportion of employees (35%) who aspire to go it alone and set-up their own company. 

Employees in the North West are not only dreaming big but they are also most confident about their chances of success, with 31% saying the role of business owner is a “realistic” ambition, compared to 23% nationwide. On the other hand, while those in Wales are more ambitious with 34% wanting to become a business owner, they also displayed a bigger gap between aspirations and reality. Only 9% were convinced that becoming a business owner was an attainable career goal. 

At the other end of the scale, employees in Northern Ireland and the East of England were less concerned about starting their own venture. Just 11% of employees in Northern Ireland cited becoming a business owner as an aspiration although 17% believed it could be a realistic career goal. Less than one in five (19%) employees in cities in the East of England including Cambridge and Peterborough dream of going it alone but 21% see it as achievable.  

Region Employees with dreams of becoming a business owner Employees who see being a business owner as a realistic goal
North West 35% 31%
Wales 34% 9%
South West 32% 20%
Scotland  30% 24%
London 30% 27%
Yorkshire 28% 27%
North East 27% 24%
South East 26% 16%
West Midlands 25% 28%
East Midlands 25% 17%
East England 19% 21%
Northern Ireland 11% 17%
UK average 28% 23%

*Data doesn’t total 100% as distinct samples shown.

“What this trend outlines is the changing world of work. While unlikely that all of those surveyed will start their own business, professionals today are increasingly looking for autonomy in their roles in order achieve a fulfilled working life. Employers can help them realise these ambitions in other areas – for example, by giving individuals opportunities to challenge themselves or take on new responsibilities,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “In today’s employment climate, skilled professionals have the ability to decide and design their own career paths, so businesses who proactively work with their employees to meet their goals will be better placed to retain them.

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