Harness your business creativity

Brits dream up best business ideas in bed

Discovering how to bring a great business idea to market is what makes an entrepreneur – and Barclays’ Eagle Labs  can help.

  • 10.9 million Brits have had a business idea and not pursued it
  • Half have seen someone else launch the idea instead – missing out on £265 billion
  • Lack of mentoring, confidence, and funding are top barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs

Brits are most likely to be struck by their best ‘lightbulb moment’ ideas when in bed, according to new research from Barclays Business 1, with a third (32%) of the nation’s budding entrepreneurs naming it as the most inspiring place to dream up a new business concept.

Respondents say other prime locations for bright ideas are the great outdoors (19%), when travelling (19%) and when having a cup of tea or coffee (19%) – all sharing second place, while the shower or bath (14%) comes third.

A whopping 10.9 million Brits (21%) say they have had an idea to start the ‘next big thing’ but didn’t pursue it 2. What’s more, more than half (54%) say they saw someone else launch the same idea at a later stage. Those that ‘missed out’ estimate their idea could have made them £62,000 richer (on average) – a collective total of £265billion – if they had launched the idea themselves.

A higher proportion of 18–34 year olds (33%) say they have had an inspirational business idea but didn’t pursue it – when compared to a lower UK average of 21% – as well as 25% of men and 18% of women.

What’s holding up entrepreneurs?

Funding was named as the top reason why business ideas are not pursued, with over half (51%) of those polled saying a lack of money was a major factor in them not following up their ideas. Not knowing where to start (42%) is the second biggest factor, followed by lack of confidence (38%) and not having the right kind of knowledge (34%). Not having access to the right tools and equipment (20%), along with lack of space (15%), were other reasons given.

The need for more mentoring also emerged as an important factor for a quarter (25%) of future entrepreneurs – the UK’s business dreamers say they would need four hours a week on average with a mentor to help them turn their ideas into reality.

Richard Heggie, head of High Growth and Entrepreneurs at Barclays, said: “Every great entrepreneur starts with their ‘Eureka moment’, and our poll shows the UK is a nation of inspired thinkers. It’s essential that the industry does all it can to harness and encourage this creativity. Not having access to lending, or to the right tools, advice and guidance simply shouldn’t be a barrier holding back the UK’s future disrupters and pioneers.

“With Eagle Labs we have launched Incubator spaces to help develop ideas, build confidence and networks, in addition to our £200million fund for scale-up businesses.”

Making a space for budding businesses

Barclays is passionate about helping entrepreneurs fulfil their business ambitions and scale-up potential. Barclays’ Eagle Lab Incubator spaces have been launched with this in mind, providing the space, tools and guidance to develop creative concepts and support budding entrepreneurs to scale. Barclays’ £200 million venture debt fund has also been established to help the UK’s high-growth firms compete with Silicon Valley.

Barclays has also announced plans to extend its Eagle Lab network to new sites, including those ‘coming soon’ in Norwich, Notting Hill and Jersey, while Salford and Huddersfield are in development. This builds on the current sites in Brighton, Bournemouth, Birmingham and two in Cambridge.

As banking partner to some of the most disruptive and innovative businesses in the UK and beyond, we understand entrepreneurs and what it takes to help make a venture successful. For the ambitious entrepreneur, growth can sometimes happen so quickly that you have little time to focus on your financial strategy - that’s why it’s so important to have a banking partner who can keep pace with your business.

Discover how we can help with your entrepreneurial plans.

Top factors that prevent Brits launching their business idea

  • No access to the funding they need (51%)
  • Not knowing where to start (42%)
  • Lack of confidence (38%)
  • Not having the right knowledge (34%)
  • Lack of time to make it happen (33%)
  • Not having access to a mentor or someone to provide guidance (25%)
  • No access to the right tools (20%)
  • Not being able to find the right space (15%)

Find out how we’re supporting UK entrepreneurs.

You can also follow Barclays Entrepreneurs on Twitter and catch up with us on LinkedIn.

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