UK micro-businesses remain bullish despite fears over the economy

New research shows half of UK freelancers and micro-business owners think the economy will get worse over the next 6 months.

Just one in ten respondents say they expect the UK economy to improve

Just one in ten respondents say they expect the UK economy to improve

Freelancers and micro-business owners are proving resilient despite their fears over the UK economy, according to new research from cloud accounting software company FreeAgent.

In a survey of more than 700 owners of micro-businesses, commissioned by FreeAgent and conducted by OnePoll, just one in ten (ten per cent) respondents say they thought the UK economy would improve over the next six months, while 50 per cent say they believed it would worsen. In contrast 28 per cent thought there would be little change.

However, despite their pessimistic economic forecasts, micro-business owners – ie those with fewer than ten employees – appear to be far more optimistic about their own businesses, with 64 per cent of respondents saying that they expected to grow their businesses over the same six month period.

FreeAgent, who make cloud accounting software for freelancers, micro-businesses and their accountants, also highlights that business owners appear to be positive about their longer-term prospects, most (91 per cent) of respondents say that they expected to still be running their businesses in a year’s time. In contrast, just one per cent say that they didn’t expect to still be running their business in 12 months.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, says, ‘Amid the upheaval surrounding the ongoing Brexit saga and the global political climate, it’s clear from our research that many micro-businesses don’t have much confidence in the UK’s economic prospects. But despite the gloomy outlook, it’s good news to see that so many of them are far more positive about the potential of their own businesses.

‘Evidently the UK’s micro-business sector is proving its resilience, with a significant number of business owners planning to grow their ventures in the coming months. The fact that the overwhelming majority also expect to still be trading in a year’s time shows that they are confident in their ability to weather the storm – and that can only be good news for our economy in the long-term term.

‘Around 95 per cent of the UK’s total number of businesses are micro-businesses, so the more confident they are about their prospects, the better it will be for the whole country.’

Further reading on the UK economy

Nominations are now open for the British Small Business Awards 2017, the leading event celebrating the brightest stars in the SME sector. Click here to enter, and make sure you get involved today using the hashtag #BSBAwards. Good luck!

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