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Almost half of Brits want to freelance, study says

Nearly one out of every two Brits want to start their own business, according to a recent survey conducted by Small Business.

The figure might seem massive, but the research study, which polled around 7,000 adults in the UK, found that 44 per cent of them wanted to become entrepreneurs of some sort – which includes sole traders such as umbrella company contractors or freelancers. That’s a shedload of people, if you ask me, but the percentage of people in Germany was even higher at 56 per cent. Even the French wanted to get in on the act, with 30 per cent of them reporting wanting to go into work for themselves as well.

There may be something to this, according to the research. Apparently around 50 per cent of respondents that wanted to start their own firm – or at least strike out on their own by getting out from under the yoke of a traditional employment relationship – have been saving up dosh for years in order to do so. This is apparently universal, as French and German figures were quite close to this as well, at 45 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. However, Brits were much less keen to take out a bank loan to cover any costs of a new business, with just 20 per cent willing to do so – French and German participants in the study reported figures nearly double that at 38 per cent.

Honestly this doesn’t surprise me. If there’s any particular breed of individual that is loathe to trust banks, it’s the British – especially with High Street banks being run by the equivalent of wolves in sheep’s clothing. That’s neither here nor there, really; what’s important is that freelancing in the UK is growing strong, especially if you look at recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, as ONS data says that, after a slight drop in contract worker numbers over the last seven months, freelancer populations have come roaring back to the point where there were something like 30,000 more self-employed Brits today than there were 12 months ago. With something close to nearly half of Brits wanting to make the jump to sole trading, I don’t see how this figure is going to diminish any time soon.

This is of course fantastic news for any employers looking to fill temporary roles – especially employers who are having a time attempting to find permanent employees to fill these vacancies. Businesses are keen to snap up freelancers and contractors, and with more of them to choose from the damage that the permanent worker skills gap could do is to the British economy is most certainly minimised.

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