Young UK entrepreneurs are far more keen to sell their business than their older peers, according to a new survey by Brown Shipley, a Quintet Private Bank.
More than half (57%) of British entrepreneurs between 18-34 said they were intent on crystalising wealth by selling their business in its entirety. This fell to 36% among entrepreneurs between 34-54, and just 19% among entrepreneurs aged 55 and over. The latter demographic is more concerned with “establishing a legacy” than their younger peers.
Overall, entrepreneurs are sharply divided over whether to keep their companies in the family or pass the business on to staff. The survey found that 35% of business owners planned to reduce their equity while maintaining ownership within the family, compared with 33% who had an internal succession plan for employee-owners.
When looking at gender differences, the survey found that male entrepreneurs are more likely to favour “cashing in,” with almost half (46%) saying they intend to sell their business, compared to less than one-third (32%) of female entrepreneurs. Even if men are more likely to seek to sell their business than are women, male entrepreneurs are nevertheless more keen to keep ownership within the family – with 39% of men saying they want to retain family ownership, compared to 29% of women.
Gordon Scott, Head of Client Solutions at Brown Shipley, commented: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of black swan events which have impacted the economy including Covid-19, war in Europe, a global energy crisis and soaring inflation.
“Against this backdrop of uncertainty, a growing number of entrepreneurs are pausing to think about their long-term personal and professional goals.
“As a result, we are seeing greater numbers of entrepreneurial clients seeking to understand the options for their business, whether selling to private equity or other investors, passing on to family members or reducing their own equity to free up capital.”