Access to EU single market top concern for aspiring British entrepreneurs
Image Credit: kolja21 and Fry1989
Other big issues were the fundraising climate and regulatory environment
Access to the European Union’s single market is the biggest area of concern for British entrepreneurs, a new survey has found.
According to European private equity firm Idinvest Partners, almost one third of people surveyed on British entrepreneurship cited access to the single market as the most important factor affecting their decision to set up a business.
The other top two concerns were the fundraising climate (29%) and the regulatory environment (23%), according to the company’s report on the survey findings.
Praising Britain’s global reputation for successful entrepreneurs, Idinvest CEO Christophe Baviere and Managing Partner Benoist Grossman wrote in the report that “we cannot ignore the still significant challenges facing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Issues such as financing and economic security can not be overlooked.”
Britain will cede its membership to the European single market following its departure from the 27-nation union, currently scheduled to begin later this month.
On 27 February, the House of Lords voted 299 to 136 against a Brexit bill amendment that would have allowed the state to remain in the market, but also required freedom of movement for EU nationals within Britain as one of the four freedoms of the single market.
In a Business Insider article, Labour Brexit representative Baroness Hayter said: “We cannot simply airbrush free movement from the referendum decision… If we turn around to those who voted out and say, ‘Yes, well, we’re out but still have everything exactly as it was, with free movement unchanged,’ I think that might evince some surprise.”
Calls to consider a European Economic Area membership instead – which will allow Britain access to the trade bloc without being subject to the complete rules of an EU – were shot down.
Annual trade between Britain and the single market is worth around €600bn, with independent thinktank the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimating that membership of the single market contributes around an extra 4% to the state’s gross domestic product, which in the fourth quarter of 2016 stood at £470.93bn.
Despite this, 57% of those surveyed by Idinvest Partners still had a bright outlook on Britain’s economy over the next 12 months.
“At the centre of this optimistic outlook is the nation’s entrepreneurialism, which remains a consistent source of motivation and an essential contributor to the country’s economic growth,” said the firm in the report.
Moreover, 44% of all respondents said Britain was still the best place to start a business, compared with 52% of respondents naming Germany as their top pick.
The survey consists of 1,500 people aged at least 18 years old, and was held from February 9-15, with approximately half of the participants saying they were motivated to start their own business.