Entrepreneurs work for themselves in their own business. It is possible to start a business in almost any field, based on a good idea and the necessary skills and motivation. Individual articles on the Input Youth website contain information on whether self-employment is possible or usual in specific careers.
Daily tasks vary enormously according to the type and size of business. As well as providing the product or service at the core of their business, entrepreneurs are likely to:
Many entrepreneurs employ staff or use the services of professionals such as accountants and solicitors.
Some entrepreneurs with experience in running a business use their expertise to help existing companies which may be under performing or want to expand.
There are no set hours for entrepreneurs but long hours are common, especially when building a new business.
Someone starting a new business may earn less than £10,000 a year. An entrepreneur with an established small business may earn over £30,000 a year.
Earnings of £100,000 a year or more are possible for people with large, successful businesses.
Income from a new business may be low, so many people have another source of earnings, such as a full- or part-time job, to support them in the early stages. All businesses have expenses which must be taken into account before income is taken from the business.
New businesses start up all the time but starting a business is a complicated and, in many cases, expensive procedure which needs careful planning. Organisations such as Business Link specialise in providing advice and support for new and small businesses.
Another way of starting a business is buying a franchise. Generally the entrepreneur agrees to sell the franchiser's product or service under the franchiser's name. They receive training and support, including advertising and marketing, in return for an initial fee and a percentage of their profits.
It is also possible to buy an existing business.
It is possible to become an entrepreneur without formal qualifications. However, a good standard of maths and English is important. Other relevant qualifications include:
As a guide, minimum requirements for entry onto a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma course are normally one A level and four GCSE's (A*-C), or equivalent; for a degree course the minimum requirements are normally two A levels and five GCSE's (A*-C), usually to include English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.
Entry requirements to courses vary according to the qualification and candidates are advised to check with individual institutions.
For many entrepreneurs education or training relevant to their business is an important factor in their success. It is also important to remember that there may be a legal requirement for people providing certain services to follow a set training route and have specific qualifications.
Some people spend time working for an employer before setting up their own business. This experience can provide valuable training and contacts that will be helpful later on.
There are a number of organisations that run business skills programme's, including Business Link and Local enterprise agencies.
The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) has a directory of local enterprise organisations. Some organisations specialise in helping particular groups to set up businesses for example W:ISE (Women: Investing in Skills for Entrepreneurship).
There are several organisations which provide help for young entrepreneurs:
Anyone setting up their own business will benefit from some business skills training.
Business advisers, such as those from Business Link, can give practical advice on starting new businesses on subjects such as writing a business plan, finding premises, funding and employing staff.
Entrepreneurs must also keep up to date with new developments in their field and any continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in their sector. Joining a relevant trade or professional body is a good way of doing this.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
Entrepreneurs progress by expanding their business. This could be by finding new customers or increasing the range of products and services they offer.
Networking with other entrepreneurs is vital, and organisations such as Business Link or local Chambers of Commerce run local training and networking events.
British Chambers of Commerce, 4 Westwood House,
Westwood Business Park, Coventry CV4 8HS
Tel: 024 7669 4484
British Franchise Association,
A2 Danebrook Court, Oxford Office Village,
Langford Lane, Oxford OX5 1LQ
Tel: 01865 379892
Tel: 0845 600 9006
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB),
Sir Frank Whittle Way,
Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool FY4 2FE
Tel: 01253 336000
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
Tel: 0845 915 4515
Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM),
Stowe House, Netherstowe, Lichfield,
Staffordshire WS13 6TJ
Tel: 01543 266867
Make your Mark
National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA),
12 Stephenson Court, Fraser Road,
Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WJ
Tel: 01234 831623
18 Park Square East, London NW1 4LH
Tel: 0800 842 842
Scaling Partners - Helping Startups
Shell LiveWIRE UK, Design Works,
William Street, Felling, Gateshead NE10 0JP
Tel: 0845 757 3252
Young Enterprise UK, Peterley House,
Peterley Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 2TX
Tel: 01865 776845
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.