According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK 2004, most ethnic minority groups are far more entrepreneurial than their white counterparts. Despite high levels of entrepreneurial activity however, the reality is that many ethnic minority businesses are concentrated at the bottom of the value-added chain and located in some of the most deprived areas of the UK. Many minority ethnic groups report problems relating to access to finance and to public sector business support.
Some 93% of owner managers and other self-employed people are white, according to the most recent BERR figures. Just 8% of UK small business employers are MEG-led; that is led by a member of a minority ethnic group or a management team with at least half of its members from minority ethnic groups.
This shows steady growth since 2004 however, when the figure was closer to 5%, and a near return to 9% recorded in 2003.
Nearly a third of all UK enterprises are located in London and the South East, with each of these regions boasting over 700,000 businesses apiece. Small businesses in London are more likely to be minority ethnic group-led, at 22%, compared to 8% overall.
In the GEM UK 2007, respondents in the ‘South’ – the area comprising London, South East England, South West England and the East of England – were much more likely to think they had the skills to start a new business than those living in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Similarly, a relatively high proportion of Londoners expect to start a business over the coming three years.
So it seems as though the north-south divide still exists. However, government initiatives to decentralise enterprise funding means there should be greater support for entrepreneurs outside of the South East in coming years.
Unsurprisingly, the differing attitudes of entrepreneurs aren't recorded - but perhaps they should be. Regardless of your age, background, sex or ethnicity your success an entrepreneur is likely to be down to your attitude to business.
If you're determined, prepared to make personal sacrifices, have the ability to plan ahead and take on board advice while remaining focusing on your goal and also, of course, have a decent business idea you'll have every chance of success wherever you're from and whatever age you are.