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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
Entrepreneurs 'scared of failure'
The Apprentice winner Tim Campbell and Sir Alan Sugar
Tim Campbell says the government should encourage entrepreneurs
Almost four in ten would-be entrepreneurs are too scared of failure to do anything about their business idea, a report suggests.

The survey of nearly 2,500 UK adults for mobile phone and broadband firm Orange, found that nearly half of them had contemplated setting up a venture.

But a lack of confidence stopped many from developing their idea.

And a third of those who wanted to set up a firm worried about the impact of the venture on their love life.

It's not the hard skills holding us back so much as our lack of self confidence and fear of failure
Martin Lyne

Other concerns among those who had considered starting a business included the fear of becoming more aggressive (33%), of adding pressure to family life (25%) and of getting less sleep (32%).

Orange said that budding entrepreneurs needed more encouragement to succeed.

'Emotional barriers'

About 14% of the people questioned claimed they were exploring a definite idea for a business, with another 8% saying they were on the road to making it a reality.

And while younger people were found to be more optimistic about setting up their own business, they also had a greater fear of failure.

Tim Campbell, former winner of the BBC's hit show The Apprentice, said it was "great news" for the UK economy that half of British people were considering setting up their own business.

"While it's clear that the main barriers holding people back are emotional, as a nation we have the drive and passion," he said.

"If the business community can share a few hints and tips to encourage budding entrepreneurs, people's fears will be overcome and more dreams will become reality."

'Nurture self-belief'

Director of small business at Orange Business Services, Martin Lyne, said the survey showed that British people viewed enterprise in a positive light and were enthusiastic to give it a go.

And he called on help to be given to develop talented would-be entrepreneurs - especially young people.

"It's not the hard skills holding us back so much as our lack of self confidence and fear of failure," he said.

"Government, industry figures, community leaders and the education system can all play a part in nurturing self-belief and confidence in our would-be entrepreneur workforce."

He said that because young people were particularly fearful of entrepreneurial failure that there was "strong case to cultivate an appetite for rational risk in the education system".

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