DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK: What the next generation wants: Roland Gribben finds that young entrepreneurs have very clear ideas of their expectations from the new government: “The insight into the political thinking of young people starting to climb the entrepreneurial ladder emerges from research by Shell LiveWIRE, the non-financial support service provided by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant…” (ShellNews.net) 21 April 05
Labour has strong support from the next generation of business leaders shows a poll published today. More than 40 per cent of the 1,000 young entrepreneurs polled say they believe Labour will create the best environment for them after the election compared with a 27 per cent rating for Conservatives and just under 22 per cent for the Liberal Democrats.
Gordon Brown, not surprisingly, earns top billing as the "best next Chancellor" with just over 50 per cent of the votes, leaving his rivals lagging well behind. Oliver Letwin (C) attracted support from 21 per cent and Vince Cable (Lib Dem) almost 16 per cent.
There is, paradoxically, strong criticism about the performance of the Government. Less than one per cent say they were enthused by the political talk about the "enterprise culture" to set up on their own, while more than half felt they did not get enough support from either government or its agencies.
The insight into the political thinking of young people starting to climb the entrepreneurial ladder emerges from research by Shell LiveWIRE, the non-financial support service provided by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to 16- to 30-year-olds considering or running a business of their own.
Duncan Robbie, the project director, said the organisation had been working with young entrepreneurs for more than 25 years and had felt it was time to find out more about their thinking.
"Undoubtedly two of the most interesting results were on government funding and what was seen as a need for a reduction in taxation and National Insurance," he said.
"They are very interested in politics because of the effect it has on their business but the support for Labour could be influenced by the fact that most of them have only experienced a Labour government."
The Shell LiveWIRE survey highlights differences between the regions and the sexes on key questions. Uncertainties about the post-election atmosphere are reflected in the 52 per cent who "don't know" what the next administration will deliver. While Labour attracts majority support as the party likely to provide the best environment, 28 per cent of female entrepreneurs put the Lib Dems ahead of the Conservatives. Women rate Oliver Letwin (21.4 per cent) only marginally ahead of Vince Cable (20.4 per cent) in the race for second place in the "best Chancellor" stakes while Wales is the only area where Mr Letwin is level pegging with Mr Brown at 30.4 per cent.
Almost three out of four entrepreneurs plan to vote on May 5. An even greater number have no hesitation in listing their two main priorities for the next administration - more funding for start-ups (47 per cent) and tax cuts (38 per cent).
There is, predictably, little enthusiasm for further changes to employment legislation (3.4 per cent) or a specific cross-departmental body for small business start-ups (6.7 per cent), while tax levels (31 per cent) and red tape (30 per cent) are seen as the biggest threats to a successful business.
The answers to questions on the main barriers to success boil down to a cry for help. Almost 30 per cent cite a lack of advice at school or university and ignorance about where to go for help and advice. Nearly 20 per cent say they are frustrated by the absence of advice tailored to young people.
Role models, notably Sir Richard Branson and James Dyson, emerge as motivators behind the desire to set up in business.
The former regional and national winners of the annual Shell LiveWIRE awards are rising stars among young entrepreneurs. Business2 interviewed five of them whose views reflected the results of the survey.
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