Tel: 01234 752 566Fax: 01234 752 577info@vowles.co.ukOnline Services Login

Business startups : A few interesting statistics about self-employment

People say that the UK is a nation of shop-keepers, but I disagree with that sweeping generalisation. The UK is actually a nation of entrepreneurs and I’m really proud that so many people have the confidence to go it alone …

One of the defining economic characteristics of the UK is the rise in self-employment, a rise which was particularly evident in, and was an important part of, the UK’s economic recovery after the 2008-09 recession…but this rise started earlier in Thatcher’s 1980’s Britain and continued into 2016!  What does the future hold? The UK is clearly a great place to be self-employed and lots of people are starting their own business. Some of the statistics are shown further down … but what do they mean?

Firstly, all this is evidence of the rise of Entrepreneurialism in the UK – and of the UK as a small business centre of excellence.   Secondly, it is further evidence of how easy it is to start your own business in the UK.   If you are thinking of taking the plunge and starting your own business, then is now your time?

So what are the statistics:

  • In 2001, the UK had around 3.2m self-employed people – in 2016 this had increased to 4.75m, a 48% increase!
  • Over the same period the number of employed people rose from 27.8m to 31.8m, a mere 14% increase.
  • The number of limited companies was 1.6m in 2001, by October 2016 this had increased to 3.8m, a whopping 137½% increase.
  • Or to put in another way, the number of self-employed has gone from 10% of the working population to around 15%.
  • The number of self-employed men has increased at a rate of 10% – whilst the number of self-employed women has increased by more than a third…. So more women than men are starting businesses and often these are the Mumpreneurs who juggle motherhood with business!
  • The number of over 65s who have started a business has also increased and around 10% of all self-employed are over 65!
  • Around 75% of all businesses do not employ anyone beside the business owners.
  • Interestingly, the number of people in work (either employed or self-employed) has increased from around 72% to 75% – although in the very long term this has remained broadly static at just under 75% of the population of 18-65 year olds.
  • For those interested in statistics, there was a huge spike in entrepreneurialism in just three years from 1986 to 1989 – from 2.7m to 3.5m – this then fell to 3.2m by 2001 and there has been a general increase ever since with mini spikes in 2003/4 and in 2013/14.

If you are thinking of joining the UK’s business revolution and starting your own business then where should you start?   Well, ideally you need to have an idea and a plan! Clearly some people will become self-employed as a result of being made redundant – but if you are thinking of a change then also think how that change will be a success. The difference between a great business start-up and a flop is, firstly, having a clear idea and doing enough planning and, secondly, the advice, help and support of a mentor.

Your Business Idea : Your business start-up idea doesn’t have to be world-changing! Yes some people creates something novel and fantastic, but more people take something ordinary and just set out to do it very, very well.

Your Start-up Plan : It is never a good idea to go off half-cocked! Always have a plan, not just what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. But how much money do you need to be able to start your business and where is that money coming from?   Very importantly, your plan should also have a what if section – what if it is worse than you think it might be…and what will you do to deal with that?

When to Start:   Anytime is a great time to start a business….for people thinking of making a change and breaking that mould the best time is always when you are ready!   …and guess what, if you are never ready then maybe running your own business just isn’t for you.

If you are inspired to start a business then get in touch and let us help you to start with helpful and practical advice.

Get In Touch

Jonathan Vowles
Chartered Accountants
114 High Street
Cranfield
MK43 0DG

Tel: 01234 752 566
Fax: 01234 752 577
info@vowles.co.uk

Resources

View business factsheets, calculators, tax rates, allowances, market data, guides and more. Click here

About Us

Learn more about us, our background, and read testimonials. Click here

Get In Touch

Jonathan Vowles
Chartered Accountants
114 High Street
Cranfield
MK43 0DG

Tel: 01234 752 566
Fax: 01234 752 577
info@vowles.co.uk

Sign Up

*Enter your name and email to receive your free e-book!