Millions of individuals with innovative ideas believe they have the potential to make a fortune, but half of them lack confidence in their ability to transform their ideas into reality, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults.

The research revealed that more than one in 10 participants had a brilliant idea that they believed could lead to significant financial success. However, 40% of respondents agreed that establishing a “non-traditional” business model could be more challenging.

The survey identified several obstacles that deter aspiring innovators, including a lack of financial resources (48%), limited networking opportunities (18%), and a lack of self-assurance (29%).

Interestingly, 40% of young Brits claimed to possess innovative ideas for starting a business. While almost half of those aged 18 to 34 perceived age as a barrier to business success, less than a third of respondents over 45 shared the same sentiment.

The study was commissioned by Innovate UK, and its interim executive chair, Ian Campbell, noted that having a great idea does not guarantee success. He emphasized the challenges that can impede new business ideas, particularly for young innovators who demonstrated the strongest belief in their ability to turn their innovative concepts into reality.

Campbell added, “Our study shows that there are plenty of creative people out there with potentially game-changing ideas, but launching them can be the main challenge. Innovate UK, along with our partners The Prince’s Trust, wants to give inspiring young entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their business ideas to the next level through our young innovators program and #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign.”

The research also revealed that almost one in 10 participants believed their ethnicity could hinder their success, while an equal percentage believed their gender might be a factor. Younger generations exhibited a higher proportion of potential entrepreneurs, with a quarter of young adults drawing inspiration from local entrepreneurs. Additionally, three in 10 respondents were influenced by the entrepreneurial success of their own families.

Educational limitations and a lack of business expertise were cited as factors inhibiting young people from launching their business ideas. More than half of 18 to 24-year-olds admitted to not knowing where to seek local assistance and support in turning their concepts into reality.

Among those who believed they had exceptional ideas, 60% intended to start their projects within the next five years. They believed their ideas addressed real market gaps and could provide solutions to safety and security challenges (26%) and climate change (25%). Furthermore, 45% of respondents believed their concepts had the potential to become national businesses, and 20% envisioned their ideas becoming household names in the UK.

Failed attempts at starting a business were not solely attributed to high tax rates and inadequate funding. Participants cited their own lack of determination, a lack of public interest, and insufficient marketing as additional reasons for previous business endeavors falling short of expectations.

For young individuals who had already attempted and failed to start a new business, nearly one-third attributed their failures to a lack of experience and financial backing. However, one in five young people admitted to drawing inspiration from others’ mistakes in their own working lives.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, also explored perceptions of the most groundbreaking innovations of the past decade. Across all age groups, mobile technology topped the list, followed by contactless payments, Google Maps, 3D printing, Netflix, AI technology, social media and networking platforms, plant-based food products, drones, and self-driving cars.

Ben Marson, director of partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, emphasized the value of the young innovators program in collaboration with Innovate UK. Marson highlighted the importance of providing opportunities for all young people, regardless of their background, to thrive in the workforce. The partnership aims to encourage and enable entrepreneurship and innovation among a diverse range of young people, contributing their unique ideas and businesses to the economy.

For further information on the #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign, please visit

Top 10 Most Successful Innovations of the Last 10 Years According to Brits:

  1. Mobile technology (tablets, iPhones)
  2. Contactless payment
  3. Google Maps
  4. 3D printing
  5. Netflix
  6. AI technology (smart home devices like Alexa, smart mirrors)
  7. Social media and networking platforms (TikTok, Instagram)
  8. Plant-based food products
  9. Drones
  10. Self-driving cars
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Sam Allcock

Sam Allcock is the founder of PR Fire. He helps small to medium-sized businesses land coverage in publications like BuzzFeed, Metro, The Huffington Post, and The Telegraph through smart press release distribution....

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