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Third of UK adults believe Christmas board games help children build business skills

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close up photo of person s hand holding miniature toy
close up photo of person s hand holding miniature toy

Can you spot a future Richard Branson, Steven Bartlett or Sara Blakey this Christmas?

New research commissioned by Virgin StartUp, a not-for-profit organisation which helps budding founders start or grow their new business, reveals that more than a third (36%) of UK adults believe children who are good at playing Christmas board games like Monopoly, are more likely to become entrepreneurs in later life.

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The research comes at a time when more than one in four (26%) UK adults say they plan to launch a business in 2023, with 46% of 18-24 year olds saying they are planning to become an entrepreneur next year.

Brits were also asked about how they plan to use their free time over Christmas and who they would turn to for advice about launching a new business.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Virgin StartUp found more than a third (36%) of us will ‘use the festive break to work on our business plans’ whilst one in three (33%) will be spending less over the festive period to help fund a new venture.

When it comes to taking business advice during family get-togethers, more than one in 10 (11%) of Brits said they would seek advice from ‘whoever wins at Monopoly or Christmas board games’, and a similar number (9%) said they would speak to ‘whoever was making the family meal’ whilst one in 12 (8%) were not too picky, asking whoever was left ‘awake on Christmas afternoon’. 

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But the most popular source of business start-up advice was ‘online’ (20%), followed by ‘speaking to an expert advisor’ (19%), a ‘spouse or partner’ (18%), a ‘family friend’ (15%) or ‘parent’ (13%).

Ahead of a predicted surge of interest in starting a business in early January 2023, Virgin StartUp is opening up a free business advice line on ‘Founder Friday’ – Friday 6 January 2023.

Anyone in the UK can register for a free 30-minute virtual meeting with a Virgin StartUp advisor who will answer questions and take future founders through the first steps of getting a business off the ground – from business plans to financial forecasting. With their support, budding entrepreneurs could go on to draft and submit their own StartUp Loan application. 

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director at Virgin StartUp, comments: “It’s really encouraging to see so many people showing an interest in starting up their own business next year, especially the younger generation, with almost half of 18-24 year olds considering it.  We want to make sure these future founders have as much support as possible to help their new business thrive.

“Sound business advice is crucial if you want to get ahead, as well as doing your research and making sure you understand where your business fits in the marketplace. That’s why we are opening free slots with our business advisors on ‘Founder Friday’ – the first Friday in January – where in previous years we’ve seen a surge in interest. Our message to new entrepreneurs is to spend the time between Christmas and New Year wisely, do your research and then speak to us in January.” 

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Nicky Bentley, founder of Crown Connective, comments: “Spending time over the festive period, doing research into your market, product and budgets can be incredibly helpful ahead of setting up a business in January. While some people may find it useful to speak to friends and family, not everyone will agree so it’s important to also take advice from other trusted sources when making key business decisions.

“Thanks to my Start Up Loan and the support I received from Virgin StartUp, I was able to get my business off the ground last January. I’d definitely encourage other entrepreneurs to explore Virgin StartUp’s diverse range of services over the Christmas period, when you may have more time on your hands, to help you turn your idea into a reality!”

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