Is Self-Employment for you?

by Brian MacAuley on 14th October 2020

Many people dream about starting their own businesses, based on their own ideas and goals. They try to break free from workplace rules, politics, and all the internal chaos that can limit their growth.

It’s no wonder that the same people desire to have full control over their time and efforts. Starting your own business can sound overwhelming and complicated at first, but if you break it into steps, you’ll just need to take the first big leap of courage, and follow with smaller steps that lead you along your entrepreneurial journey.

Here’s a look at some small & medium business statistics in the UK.

  • At the start of 2020 there were 5.94 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.3% of the total business.

SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises with less than 250 employees) account for 99.9% of the business population (6.0 million businesses in total). The definition of a small business varies across the world. For example, in Australia, companies with fewer than 15 employees are considered a small business, whereas in America a small business is a firm with less than 500 employees.


  • Small/Medium Businesses employ 16.8 million people (61% of the total)

With so many small businesses in the UK , it’s no surprise that small businesses generate the majority of jobs. According to the Federation of Small Business, SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector. Employment in small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees) was 13.3 million (48% of the total), with a turnover of £1.6 trillion (36%).


  • 64% of the UK workforce wants to set up a business
  • 83% of 18 - 24 year olds dream of self-employment
  • Men are far more confident than women that they’ll start a business


There are many reasons why people might be motivated to open their own business. It means that people have the freedom to not only be their own boss, but also the boss of their time. It gives you the freedom to make decisions and work how and when or where you want. In a recent survey carried out by SME Loans they discovered that the prospect of earning more money is the most popular attraction to self-employment, shortly followed by the ability to be your own boss. Working flexible hours and being able to work from home were also popular, appealing to 1 in 3 people in the UK.


Unsurprisingly, an increased salary was the most popular factor across the UK. Most motivated by money are those falling within the 18 to 24 bracket. 50% of people of this age group believe that becoming a business mogul will benefit them financially. The 25 to 34 year olds, however, are more concerned about advancing their career, and enticed by the opportunity to travel with work.

Data revealed that women are more attracted to the prospect of being able to work from home, whilst being able to be their own boss appealed to the majority of male participants. 1 in 5 people working in Northern Ireland see starting their own business as the only way to advance their career. It was also interesting to note that over a third (36%) of the UK workforce dislike their current job. This job dissatisfaction is fuelling people to consider taking the leap to quit their job and launch their own business.


For anyone thinking of starting their own Business, we offer a range of Courses, Mentoring & help to start-up & grow your business. Contact a member of the Business Development Team for full information.

About Brian MacAuley
Brian has been at the helm of Dungannon Enterprise Centre for 30 years, keeping the wheels turning smoothly on a day to day basis.

Ready for Action?

Are you ready to find out more about working for yourself or building your existing business? We can help.
phone linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram