Some entrepreneurs considering return to employment, says Aviva SME Pulse survey

MANY small and medium-sized business owners in East Anglia are losing their entrepreneurial drive and thinking of returning to work, according to a new survey.

Near half (47%) of respondents in the latest SME Pulse report from insurance group Aviva say they are finding it too tough to be a business owner in the current economic climate.

More than a quarter (28%) of SME owners in the region admit they no longer enjoy running their business, with nearly two out of five (38%) saying they have lost the enthusiasm they had when they started their venture.

As a result, the SME Pulse also reveals that one in four SME owners (25%) are considering returning to the workforce as an employee.

The report also found that half of the region’s SMEs (50%) feel that 2011 turned out to be tougher than expected and that there is little confidence in any improvement this year, with a quarter (25%) believing there is an increased risk of a “double dip” recession.

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David Bruce, Aviva’s commercial product manager, said: “The mood continues to be down-beat about the economy as 2012 begins. Businesses are struggling against a backdrop of consumer spending cuts and many don’t envisage an improvement in the next six months.

“In addition, half of the SMEs we surveyed said they had not asked for funds from their bank with the same number telling us they had reduced the money they took from their business, suggesting businesses may be ‘self-funding’ their activities.

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“This could be forcing them to focus more on the day-to-day operations than on planning for the future.”

He added: “Entrepreneurship is fundamental to economic growth – the Government last year called for a private sector-led recovery to help stimulate growth and yet our research shows that the entrepreneurial spirit is being challenged, with a significant number of owners thinking about returning to the workforce.”

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