Business owners start up in order to work for themselves

Being your own boss is the main driver for people to give up their day job and start a business, research finds.

More than half (54 per cent) of entrepreneurs state they wanted to work for themselves, according to a study by Barclays.

Being made redundant from previous employment inspires 20 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, with twice as many men saying redundancy was the impetus to start their own business (23 per cent), compared to women (11 per cent).

Turning a hobby into a business is a key driver for 16 per cent of small business owners, and family members and friends influence one in 12 small business owners.

More women are encouraged to start a business based on a childhood dream (11 per cent, compared to men at 6 per cent).

Older age groups seem to be more inclined to work for themselves, with the 55+ age group being inspired to start their business because they wanted to work for themselves (56 per cent).

This is also high among the 35-54 age group (43 per cent).

Those in the South and East of the UK are also more inspired to work for themselves with almost a third (59 per cent) stating this as the reason they went out on their own.

Rebecca McNeil, managing director for Business Lending and Enterprise at Barclays comments, ‘January is a popular time for new business plans to be made, and many making new year’s resolutions may decide to take the plunge and start their own business.

‘It is important that business owners are passionate about what they do, as commitment and motivation are key tools to getting a successful business up and running, so it’s good to see that one in six SME owners have turned their hobby into a source of income.’

The fact there is a higher number of women starting a business after having children compared to men is interesting, McNeil observes.

‘It shows a move away from the security of traditional employment and a brave step into working for themselves.’

Further reading on starting a business

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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