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A new study from FreeAgent has revealed that one in ten workers in the UK are planning to start their own business within the next year.

According to ONS statistics, 31.76 million people in the UK are currently in work. This means that 3.2 million people will potentially become business owners in the coming months.

The survey was carried out by OnePoll on 1,000 people and found that 54% said that they wanted to become their own boss one day.

25% said that they aimed to become business owners within the next few years. 10% said they would this year and 30% said that although they didn’t have any solid plans yet, that they wanted to start their own business one day.

What are the top reasons for wanting to start a business?

The number one reason for people wanting to become self-employed was to ensure a better work-life balance, as 52% of people polled said.

The next top reason, stated by 51% of people, was that they wanted to be able to choose the kind of work they do.

37% said that they wanted to earn more money, 36% said they wanted to follow their passion and 35% said that they wanted to feel a greater sense of achievement.

Rise in female entrepreneurs

The survey found that more women than men were planning to start a business this year, 11% in contrast to 8% of men. 56% of women surveyed said they wanted to become their own boss compared to 52% of men.

The reasons for wanting to start a business also differed between men and women. More women than men wanted to become their own boss in order to achieve a greater work-life balance. More women than men also felt that becoming their own boss would make it easier to fit work around family commitments.

In contrast, the main reason for men wanting to become their own boss was to earn more money, with 41% of men citing this as a driving factor in comparison to 24% of women.

The survey also revealed differences between age groups and entrepreneurial aims. 67% of workers wanting to become their own boss were in the 18-24 age category, which was the largest percentage of any age group surveyed. Not far behind were the 25-34 year olds at 66% and 35-44 year olds at 58%.

CEO of FreeAgent, Ed Molyneux said:

‘Unsurprisingly, the desire for a better work-life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business.

‘But it’s interesting to see that working fewer hours is much less of a factor; possibly because they understand the time commitments required to build a successful business!’

‘One of the main reasons that new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow, so drawing up a detailed business plan and staying on top of your finances is key if you want to make your venture a success.’


Are you thinking of starting a business this year? What’s your main reason and what advice would you give other would-be entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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