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Americans, Italians and the French are much more eager to set up their own businesses than their counterparts in the UK, even though those in the UK felt there were more opportunities for doing so than their overseas counterparts.

The research, directed by Babson College in the US, revealed that just 7 per cent of Brits expected to start their own company in the next three years, compared with17 per cent in France, 13 per cent in Italy, and 14 per cent in the US.

However, research for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor indicated that 39 per cent of British adults thought there were good opportunities to start a business, compared with 23 per cent in France, 40 per cent in Italy and 25 per cent in the US. Similarly, nearly half of Britons - 49 per cent - thought they had the skills, knowledge and experience to start a business compared with 34 per cent in France, 51 per cent in Italy and 48 per cent in the US.

Started as a partnership between London Business School and Babson in1999 with 10 countries, Gem now reviews entrepreneurial activity and perceptions in 42 countries and claims to be the world’s largest research project focusing on entrepreneurs and how they affect national economic growth.


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