Starting a company makes people happier and more determined

Starting a small business makes people happier and more determined, reports research ahead of UK’s annual Small Business Saturday.

Starting a company has made a majority of Britain’s small business owners happier and more determined, according to the findings of a new survey of small businesses undertaken by the organisers of the UK’s annual Small Business Saturday campaign, which this year culminates on Saturday December 3rd.

Two thirds of respondents report being their own boss had made them happier; 59 per cent say they were more determined, whilst almost half (49 per cent) say they were now more confident.

44 per cent of those surveyed were working longer, 46 per cent working harder. Just under a quarter were more stressed than in their previous job compared with 17 per cent who report lower stress levels.

More than a third (39 per cent) started their business because they wanted to turn a passion or a hobby into a business. Starting a company had always been an ambition for a fifth of respondents; 15 per cent for whom starting a business had been their best option after redundancy or unemployment and a similar amount for whom starting their own business had been the next logical career step.

Optimism is high with 71 per cent of small business owners reporting that their business has grown over the past twelve months and 79 per cent who expect it to grow over the next 12 months.

More than three quarters of respondents think it was either important or very important to them that their business either has a positive social impact or makes a positive contribution to their local community. 78 per cent regularly collaborate with other local small businesses.

Getting to do what they love was cited by 26 per cent of respondents as the best thing about starting a company in the UK today. This was followed by 18 per cent who mentioned a feeling of accomplishment and 16 per cent who mentioned ‘being their own boss’.

Small Business Saturday

Now in its fourth year Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Last year an estimated £623 million was spent with small businesses across the UK on the day – up £119 million on last year and an increase in spending of 24 per cent.

The day itself also generated huge buzz on social media with Small Business Saturday trending at number one on Twitter. Over 100,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday on the day itself with a combined reach of more than 25 million people.

An estimated 75 per cent of all local authorities actively supported the campaign on the day in a variety of ways, from staging or supporting small business events to offering free parking.

The initiative exists as a nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses, something for business owners to join up with and use for the benefit of their own small business. It is totally free to participate and all and any small businesses can get involved, from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus.

In addition to the campaign itself, the team also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists 
to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

Small Business Saturday, which is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010 and it remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation. The campaign is also supported by PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint, Post Office, Clear Channel, STIHL, Virgin Media Business, Facebook, Dropbox and Indeed.

Further reading on start-up grants

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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