Why founder wellbeing is the new metric for startup success

We are proud to share results from our inaugural study on founder stress and performance. Over 270 founders from all across the UK shared their experiences and expectations of what it is like to build a company from the ground up, highlighting the unique advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship. 

Entrepreneurs and SME founders are often celebrated as UK growth-heroes – where the intrepid entrepreneur risks it all, with a drive to make a difference and the promise of financial reward at the end. Success is championed in magazines, on stages and all over social media, fuelling a glossy, heroic image of entrepreneurship. But behind the gloss lies a very different reality. As demonstrated by the results of this study, startup life is far more complex. 

The UK Entrepreneur Pressure & Wellbeing Study

In the study, founders…

say running a business has affected their mental health
77%
say running a business has affected their physical health
70%
say running a business is lonely
77%
are struggling with their sleep
68%

The results of the first ever UK study of founder wellbeing and performance came in and they do not make for light reading. The entrepreneurial route is paved with exhilarating highs and anxiety-inducing lows with conditions that do not lead to sustainable performance – and that doesn’t pay off for our founders or our startups. 

The report has been a stark wake up call to all of us across the startup ecosystem. As founders, venture-builders, investors and influencers, we have made changes since 2019 to shift the dial on this problem. The report kick started the weare3Sixty mission, and now we have hundreds of founders uniting in safe group-coaching FounderCircles every month. But this is just beginning. Want to help? Dive into the report and see what we can all do to fuel founders together.

As featured by

"Near-permanent, chronically
high levels of stress, crippling
isolation, too little sleep, virtually
no headspace or time away from
work… it took a major toll on both
my physical and mental health. I
couldn’t get away from it — I was
the company, I was a poster child,
and role model."       

Award-winning venture backed founder

92%

of founders name RESILIENCE as the number one attribute or skill needed by a founder

5x

more lonely than the national average, affecting confidence, decision-making and health

What's included in the report

Be part of future research and solution-building

This report is just the start. We welcome your participation and call on the entire startup ecosystem to join us in building a better understanding and more collaborative environment to enable entrepreneurs to perform to their highest potential.

Get in touch with us here.