Brits dream of turning their passions into professions

Brits Dream of Turning Their Passions Into Professions

New research from small business insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that over 1.3 million Brits dream of starting their own business in the next year

  • Over 1.3 million Brits dream of starting their own business in the next year
  • Almost one in five potential entrepreneurs would like to launch a food-related start-up such as a bakery, sandwich shop or cafe
  • Over half (51 per cent) of those wanting to start a business state lack of capital as the biggest stumbling block followed by lack of direction (32 per cent)

London, 15 July 2016: New analysis from Direct Line for Business1 reveals that over 1.3 million Brits dream of starting their own business in the next twelve months. Interestingly, the type of businesses we’d like to start shows more people are choosing to follow their hearts and launch bakeries, cafés and craft shops.

When asked what type of business they would set up, five per cent said that they would set up a shop, with ambitions ranging from books and music to mobility scooters and Wiccan products. The most popular choice was a café or tea room, selected by one in 20 respondents (six per cent), while arts and crafts – either from home or in a shop – were cited by two per cent of Brits. Restaurants, business consultancies and animal-related professions were all commonly cited, showing that there is no limit to the professional passions of the British public.

More broadly, the most popular start-up sector relates to food, with almost one in five of those wanting to start a business (18 per cent) stating they would like to launch a cake shop or café. This is followed by retail start-ups, with 16 per cent citing businesses like craft shops as their ideal business venture.

Table One: Top five most desirable start-up sectors

Type of business












Source: Analysis by Direct Line for Business

Lack of capital is cited as the biggest reason that people don’t want to start their own business (51 per cent). Funding is not the only barrier, almost a third admit they wouldn’t know where to begin planning a new business. Lack of direction is more apparent amongst women with nearly double (43 per cent) citing this as the main barrier compared to men (20 per cent).

Table Two:  Primary reasons for not starting your own business

Primary reason for not starting a business


Lack of capital


I don't know where to start


I don't have the confidence


I can't afford to lose my salary


Fear of losing job security


Source: Analysis by Direct Line for Business

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business said: “Our research highlights the underlying desire amongst people to start up their own business ventures. It’s clear Brits are looking to turn their passions into professions, as cooking and crafting are deemed more popular than businesses that focus on technology for example. Funding is key to starting a business, but good advice and support is just as crucial to help new start-ups launch their business and build for the future.”

For further details on Direct Line for Business visit

Notes to Editors

1 Items that relate to witchcraft   

2 Research conducted by Opinium amongst 2,000 UK between 21st and 24th June 2016.  1.3 million figure based on 2.25 per cent of Brits wanting to start their own business. 2.25 per cent of 50,909,000 population = 1,298,180

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967

Direct Line Group
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 0137 283 9452
Mobile: 07825 315 931

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting

Small Business Insurance Press Release

ADDED: 15th July 2016