Redundancies and innovation drive small business startups

New research from specialist small business insurer Hiscox finds that:

  •  17% of UK startups launched as a result of redundancy and,
  • 7% of small businesses were created based on improvements to existing ideas

London, UK (June 21st 2011): With unemployment rates at 7.7% in the U.K.*, new research** by specialist insurer Hiscox has found that 17% of small businesses were established following a redundancy, demonstrating an opportunity in adversity. It also found the majority of startups are not original ideas, but are based on new approaches to existing businesses.

Key findings from the research:

· Being your own boss and living the dream: Almost half (48%) of small business owners cited either being their own boss or living their dream as the reason for taking the risk and starting their own business, with 28% wanting to be their own boss and 20% wanting to live their dream.

· Not new, just better executed: 77% of small business owners and operators surveyed said that their business idea was not new, but an improvement on existing offerings. Almost half (47%) reported that offering a higher quality of service or product than their competition was their key differentiator - rather than lower prices. A further 22% differentiate themselves by investing time in meeting face-to-face with clients. However, for startups there was a low investment in R&D (5%) and even less in marketing (2%).

· Million dollar idea: Almost a quarter (22%) believed they had a 'million dollar' idea when founding their business. After taking the leap, nearly two-thirds (61%) now feel confident or very confident that their business is indeed the 'million dollar' idea.

“Our research shows that entrepreneurs are starting businesses to take control of their future, whether they have experienced a redundancy or want to pursue their dreams. They don’t always need to reinvent the wheel, but offer a fresh perspective on an existing idea – it’s often about hard graft and differentiating yourself from the competition,” said Alan Thomas, small business insurance expert at Hiscox.

“Starting up can be daunting, but if you work hard, understand your risks and keep your self-belief, you can succeed. When it comes to risks, it is important that small business owners use proper planning to protect their million dollar idea while they grow their businesses.”

Hiscox has launched Leap Year, a new comedy web series about 5 friends turned entrepreneurs each experiencing the highs and lows of starting their own businesses. Click here to watch the latest episode:

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For further information please contact:

Hiscox Ltd





Johanna Boland / Abi Clark

Group Communications

+44 (0)20 7448 6494

[email protected] / [email protected]

Notes to editors

* Sourced from the Office for National Statistics, Unemployment figures, 15th June 2011:

** Hiscox commissioned research with Opinium Research among 305 owners, partners and senior decision makers from UK companies with 1 to 249 employees between the 18th of May and the 1st of June 2011.

About Hiscox

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites internationally traded business in the London Market - generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd's. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA. Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, Hiscox Underwriting Limited, Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited and Hiscox Syndicates Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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