Brits dream up best business ideas in bed

Richard Heggie, Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs at Barclays

Brits are most likely to be struck by their best ‘lightbulb moment’ ideas when in bed, according to new research from Barclays Business1, with a third (32%) of the nation’s budding entrepreneurs naming it as the most inspiring place to dream up a new business concept. This is followed by the great outdoors (19%), when travelling (19%) and when having a cup of tea of coffee (19%) – all sharing the second place spot, while the shower or bath (14%) is third.

A whopping 10.9 million Brits (21%) say they have had an idea to start the ‘next big thing’ but didn’t pursue it2. What’s more, over half (54%) say they saw someone else launch the same idea at a later stage. Those that ‘missed out’ estimate their idea could have made them £62,000 richer (on average) – a collective total of £265billion – if they had launched their idea themselves.

A higher proportion of 18-34 year olds (33%) say they have had an inspirational business idea but didn’t pursue it – when compared to a lower UK average of 21%- as well as 25% of men and 18% of women.

Funding was named as the top reason why business ideas are not pursued, with over half (51%) of those polled saying insufficient funds was a major factor in them not pursuing their ideas. Not knowing where to start (42%) is the second biggest factor, followed by lack of confidence (38%) and not having the right kind of knowledge (34%). Not having access to the right tools and equipment (20%), along with lack of space (15%), were other reasons given.

The need for more mentoring also emerged as an important factor for a quarter (25%) of future entrepreneurs – the UK’s business dreamers say they would need four hours a week on average with a mentor to help them turn their ideas into reality.

Every great entrepreneur starts with their ‘Eureka moment’ and our poll shows the UK is a nation of inspired thinkers. It’s essential that the industry does all it can to harness and encourage this creativity. Not having access to lending, or to the right tools, advice and guidance simply shouldn’t be a barrier holding back the UK’s future disrupters and pioneers. With Eagle Labs we have launched Incubator spaces to help develop ideas, build confidence and networks, in addition to our £200million fund for scale up businesses.”

Barclays is passionate about helping entrepreneurs fulfil their business ambitions and scale-up potential. Barclays’ Eagle Lab Incubator spaces have been launched with this in mind, providing the space, tools and guidance to develop creative concepts and support budding entrepreneurs to scale. Barclays’ £200 million venture debt fund has also been established to help the UK’s high-growth firms to compete with Silicon Valley.

Top five places where Brits are struck with their best ideas:

1. When in bed
2. When in the great outdoors
3. When enjoying a cup of tea or coffee
4. While travelling in the car or on a train
5. While in the shower or bath
Opinium polled 2,000 UK adults, between 10 June – 14 June 2016

Top factors stopping Brits from launching a business idea:

1. Not having access to sufficient funding (51%)
2. Not knowing where to start (42%)
3. Not having the confidence to pursue the idea (38%)
4. Not having the right knowledge (34%)
5. Not having enough time to make it happen (33%)
6. Not having access to a mentor or someone to provide guidance (25%)
7. Not having access to the right tools (20%)
8. Not having access to space (15%)
Based on ONS population estimates, the UK adult population reached 51.3 million in mid-2015. The survey went to 2,000 UK adults. A fifth (21%) of this equates to 10.9 billion adults in the general population

For further information about how Barclays can help you contact us via

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