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Growing number of business banking accounts as ‘Start-Up’ TV inspires ‘armchair entrepreneurs’, says Natwest

12 July 2007
One in twelve budding entrepreneurs are inspired by TV business and invention shows, according to research from Natwest.

Their survey shows that almost 17 million Britons have designs on starting their own business. As many as 30% will act upon their dreams and turn them into reality and a quarter of those plan to do so within the next year.

Despite the questionable accuracy with which such shows as Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice portray starting a business, they are having a positive influence on the start-up business market, with 19% of entrepreneurs aged 18-34 who set up a company in the last five years doing so because they were inspired by reality TV.

Forty-three per cent said their primary motivation was the lure of being their own boss, while others were drawn to it by more flexibility, freedom, independence, monetary gain, and frustrations with their current job or boss.

People like Alan Sugar represent the massive financial rewards to be had, but the average entrepreneur actually earns £28,000 a year, compared to the £40,000 they expected their business to generate.

Steve Pateman, Chief Executive of Business Banking at NatWest, said: “Whilst it’s encouraging that TV programmes can inspire an army of armchair entrepreneurs into action, they only really scratch the surface of what it takes to run a successful business.”

Pateman continues to say that getting advice and support and implementing money saving benefits can give you a head start and greatly improve your chances, so that hurdles such as financial resources, fear of failure and poor marketing “needn’t be a barrier to getting a good business idea off the ground.”

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