The UK’s long-term economic recovery depends on the triumph of entrepreneurship – growth will come from mainly from start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Politicians are united across the political spectrum in arguing for an ‘industrial strategy’ to encourage this kind of business growth, and any strategy likely to succeed will start with the experiences, insights and attitudes of entrepreneurs themselves.

Everyone’s Business articulates those attitudes. Through a survey of almost 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs it explores their motivations to start businesses, the nature of the businesses they have either started or intend to start, the personal attributes they believe are central to entrepreneurship and the barriers they perceive to their business succeeding. The survey reveals a ‘can do’ attitude among aspiring entrepreneurs, who value determination above all else and attribute failure to weak business models or simply bad luck rather than circumstances in the wider economy.

The survey reveals a surprising picture of the average entrepreneur, who is more likely to be a ‘micro-innovator’, building on existing business models, than a buccaneering revolutionary who thrives on risk. The report suggests that this more realistic and attainable image of entrepreneurship is the one that policy makers should have in mind. Finally, entrepreneurs highlight a lack of capital as the biggest barrier to starting a new business. Therefore, the report recommends the Government focus on restoring healthy lines of capital, including considering alternative models such as local banking and crowd-funding.