Budding entrepreneurs uncovered in new Orange research

Orange has announced the findings of its Essence of the Entrepreneur research, surveying entrepreneurs and the general UK workforce on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

The research showed that business leaders believe the power of positive thinking as being the key to their continued success ahead of free business advice and greater access to loans.

The UK’s current stock of entrepreneurs also seem to be in a rather philosophical mood with 69% suggesting the reason entrepreneurialism is so vital for the UK today is that it gives people the belief that they can achieve their dreams regardless of age, gender or wealth. A further third believe nurturing new business talent should be the biggest priority for the UK in 2010.

The survey also revealed that almost nine in ten entrepreneurs ranked self belief as being the defining quality for success closely followed by persistence and decisiveness. These three attributes ranked far higher than creativity and risk taking, two traits previously cited as central to successful entrepreneurship.

Nearly three quarters of those surveyed feel the economic climate of the past few years will see a new breed of entrepreneur rising up from the ashes with a quarter suggesting entrepreneurs would be the life blood of the economy moving forward. And that this time they’ll be more equipped to deal with any downturn.

Martin Lyne, director of SME, Orange UK, said: “The report revealed a real sense of optimism within the entrepreneurial community with six in ten saying they felt stronger as a result of lessons learned in the last two years. Over half say the recent business climate has in no way made them regret going into business, simply more determined to succeed where others have failed. With such grit and determination, the UK will be a really strong breeding ground for budding entrepreneurs as we head into 2010.”

Two fifths also feel that future entrepreneurs will be able to avoid harsh start up costs by embracing more flexible working from the outset with a quarter saying that adopting the latest technologies was vital to making their businesses more effective moving forward.

When asked which area of business they thought was most ripe for exploitation, almost six in ten entrepreneurs cited the environmental sector. With the world’s focus on Copenhagen and the talk of growth in green business, it’s clear where current and budding business leaders see opportunities.

Last but not least, some 4.34 million members of the current UK workforce stated they have an idea for starting a business, with one in four confident of achieving their business aims in the next 1-2 years with a further quarter building toward their success in 3-5 years. 31% say they’re even more confident than they were two years ago of starting a business.