Richard Branson still the inspiration, but funding still seen as major barrier to new business.

Ben TobinYouGov PR Manager
November 27, 2014, 10:00 AM GMT+0

New YouGov Business Omnibus research reveals that business decision makers see Richard Branson as their pre-eminent entrepreneur, but feel that funding and investment is the major barrier to aspiring new entrepreneurs emulating him.

The study, carried out among decision makers across a variety of sized businesses and industries, revealed that from a short-list of successful entrepreneurs, including the likes of Sergey Brin (11%), Alan Sugar (6%) and Mark Zuckerberg (4%), a plurality (35%) would most like to work for Richard Branson. The survey also assessed which ‘Dragon’ from BBC show ‘Dragon’s Den’ the respondents would most like to invest in their business. Peter Jones was the clear choice, way ahead on 38%. Deborah Meadan was the choice of one in ten (10%) with Duncan Bannatyne on 9%. Piers Linney was the least popular Dragon, with only 2% wanting him to invest in their business.

So what do business people say are the preventative factors and challenges to those wishing to start a business? Finding investment and funding is seen as the crucial factor – almost three quarters (73%) believe this to be the foremost challenge. Other difficulties include employing talented staff (43%), finding business support (39%) and generating innovative ideas (36%).

In terms of the key characteristics a budding entrepreneur needs, business professionals need to innovative and creative (61%), able to make good business connections (52%) and have a passion for the industry (47%). Also crucial according to our panel is being efficient with finance and account management (46%), as well as taking risks (44%) and being able to lead a team (39%).

The culture of a business is crucial. Over a third (36%) of those interviewed would most like to work in one that was oriented around creativity. A quarter (25%) would prefer a clan oriented culture, one that was focussed on mentoring, nurturing and team work. 22% said a market-driven culture based on competition, achievement and team work.

Rudy Sooprayen, Associate Director, YouGov Omnibus, said; ‘It’s clear that business people are still in awe of figures such as Richard Branson. Our research shows it is clear that funding and investment is the crucial driving factor for getting a business off the ground. The avenues budding business people have to take to procure this investment is an issue that business leaders will no doubt continue to debate in the months and years ahead.’’

Go to YouGov Business Omnibus

See full poll results

Image: PA