App economy creating ‘entrepreneurial generation’ of young company directors

The success of young people in fast-growth sectors like app design is acting as a catalyst for people 21 and under to open businesses across all sectors of the economy.

Furthermore, young businesspeople like Jamie Oliver and Nick D’Aloisio – dubbed the UK’s answer to Mark Zuckerberg – have inspired a growing number of young people across the country to start their own businesses.

D’Aloisio, a 17 year old from Wimbledon, sold Summly, the news aggregator app he designed, to Yahoo for more than £20 million last year, highlighting the opportunities available to young Brits in the app economy.

Youth unemployment may also be playing a part, with 17.9 per cent of people aged 18-24 out of work at the start of 2014, compared with 11.9 per cent at the start of 2008, prior to the recession.

Gen-X directors still outnumber Gen-Y directors four to one

Company directors belonging to Generation X (born 1961-1980) still outnumber those belonging to Generation Y (born 1981-1995) by more than four to one. 

In fact, there are 2.2m Generation X company directors in the UK, compared with 510,000 Generation Y directors.

Number of young directors – breakdown by age group

  • 18 or under – 3,500
  • 19 to 21 – 23,500
  • 22 to 25 – 87,500
  • 26 to 30 – 255,000
  • Generation X – 2,200,000
  • Generation Y – 510,000
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