Young people are increasingly shunning the traditional nine-to-five in favour of setting up their own micro business from home.
In a survey of more than 1,300 small enterprises by startups specialist Company Formations MadeSimple, 24 per cent were owned by 25-34-year-olds, and a large majority of 74 per cent said that they operated from home.
The number of companies formed by people aged 35 and under almost doubled between 2010 and 2015, with last year’s total amounting to more than 280,000.
The most popular reason given for this decision, at 28 per cent, was the lifestyle choice, and the rejection of a traditional desk job. In fact, more than half of all recent graduates would rather work for a startup than a bigger firm.
Another major factor inspiring people to start their own business is the chance to earn more than one can in a normal job, with 24 per cent of those surveyed citing this as their key reason for going it alone. A further 19 per cent of micro business owners said that their decision was borne out of a reluctance to work for someone else.
This was the case for Hayat Rachi, founder of feminist lingerie designer Neon Moon. She said: “I was homeless and unemployed when I finally decided to work for myself in 2014.
“I have no background in fashion or lingerie… I never let my lack of formal fashion education hold me back. So long as I had guidance, learnt from people smarter than myself and had Google on my phone – I was ready to get started.”
While most respondents said that they work from home, eight per cent claimed to use shared office space, while 17 per cent choose to rent or own their own private office.
Sarah Goodwin and Millie Wilson, founders of Tea and Tequila Trading, fall into the bracket of business owners who make use of remote and virtual working relationships.
Speaking about how the business got going, Goodwin said: “It initially started with me in Mexico and Millie in London, but we now spend about four or five months of the year together.
“We do have more of a virtual business relationship, and it can be a bit lonely working on your own – it’s not like we have a team or anything yet. But we do communicate we each other a lot, and I have meetings daily with artisans while Millie gets together with buyers.”
Howard Graham, CEO of Company Formations MadeSimple, added: “For many young entrepreneurs, the decision is about lifestyle choice and working from home comes as part and parcel of this.
“While an office will usually become necessary when a business grows to a certain size, operating from home can offer more flexibility and will of course be cheaper.”
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