Young entrepreneurs are giving Scotland a head start

ENTREPRENEURS in Scotland are getting younger, with an increasing number of under 35s running their own business, according to a survey published today.

Analysis of 160,000 companies found that the number of 18- to 34-year-olds who were directors of their own company in Scotland in 2010 had risen by 11 per cent since 2007, one of the highest increases in the UK.

Across the UK as a whole the fastest growing age groups for entrepreneurs over the last three years have been 18-24 and 25-34.

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The number of 18- 24-year-olds who have their own business has risen by 4 per cent in the same period, with now as many business owners under 34 as there are in the 35-44 age bracket.

While the number of younger business owners has risen, the number of owners over the age of 35 has shown a slow but steady decline since 2007, with a 3 per cent fall in the 35-44 age bracket and a 3.6 per cent fall in 45- to 54-year-olds.

Jason Stockwood, chief executive of insurance broker Simply Business, which carried out the research, said overall it was an "inspiring picture".

He said: "This data shows that young people are adapting to a challenging employment landscape by taking their destiny into their own hands and starting a business."

He added there was increasing evidence that graduates were also looking at setting up their own business as an alternative to finding salaried employment.