Number of entrepreneurs on the rise

As the numbers of large firms that are reining in on hiring increase, so is the number of individuals who are deciding to go out on their own by either starting their own business or consulting.

According to networking platform LinkedIn, the number of entrepreneurs across the UK increased by 6.4 per cent in the year to April 2017, while, at the same time, the largest businesses reduced the number of professionals they employ by 1.9 per cent. Meanwhile, those who set them themselves up as consultants rose by 5.8 per cent.

The sectors seeing the biggest increases in single person companies year-on-year are architecture and engineering at 17.9 per cent and professional services at 16.9 per cent.

As a spokesman for LinkedIn commented, the UK is experiencing record levels of employment despite the fact that large concerns are reducing the number of people they employ. This is partly due to the number of emerging entrepreneurs and consultants.

He added that LinkedIn’s research should give confidence to professionals who are thinking about taking the leap and striking out on their own. He suggested that the research should also be of interest to the Government, who will need to put the health of small businesses and sole traders at the top of their agenda as they prepare their strategy for Britain’s economy after Brexit.

His words were echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which said that the Government must create a climate that helps all those setting up in business to achieve their ambitions.

A spokesman pointed out that this means tightening up late payment regulations across the economy, extending protections and benefits afforded to employees, and, crucially, resisting the temptation to raise taxes on the self-employed, as that “would be a sure-fire way to halt this positive trend in its tracks”.