Home Engineers in Society Fear of failure stopping young people turning ideas into successful innovations

Fear of failure stopping young people turning ideas into successful innovations

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Fear of failure may be deterring young people – and particularly young engineers – from starting their own businesses, according to research released today by the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub.

Announced at the final of the fifth annual Launchpad competition, held to recognise the most promising young engineering entrepreneurs, the research highlights that a fear of failure and lack of business skills are holding many back from starting their own firms.

A fear of business failure is significantly higher among young people. More than two fifths (42%) gave this as a reason for not turning an idea into a business, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of 45 to 54 year olds. The findings echo separate research from the Enterprise Hub that found that young engineers were especially fearful of failure; over half (56%) cited this as one of their main reasons for not starting a business. The research also asked young engineers what they would find helpful in encouraging them to turn ideas into innovations. Two fifths (41%) said they lacked key business skills and a third (31%) highlighted a need for advice on protecting their ideas.

Ian Shott, chair, Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Committee said:

“The UK is a world leader in innovation, and if we are to maintain this in years to come we must inspire young people to gain the confidence to have a go. Entrepreneurial business leadership and management is not a prescriptive standalone set of skills but rather something where many entrepreneurs will benefit from excellent mentorship providing thoughtful and appropriate support along their journey.”

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