HR · 17 February 2017

Millions of Brits secretly aspire to be self-employed

One in seven UK workers aim to become self-employed at some point in their lives
One in seven UK workers aim to become self-employed at some point in their lives, with as many as 12 per cent of those hoping to take the leap within the next six months.

New research, from challenger bank Aldermore, also revealed entrepreneurship to be a lifelong dream for more than a fifth of the workforce, with 22 per cent of people citing it as a personal ambition.

For the majority of workers wishing to become self-employed one day, the dream is a long way off from becoming reality. In a survey, a quarter of current employees admitted they would only consider self-employment once made redundant from their current job.

For a further 20 per cent, unhappiness in their existing role would be enough for them to set up on their own.

Despite many people’s longing for self-employment, the data, compiled by YouGov and published by Aldermore, confirmed some of the concerns aspiring entrepreneurs have about how hard self-employment can be.

Even though 93 per cent of those currently self-employed enjoy being their own boss, and 83 per cent feel in control of their own destiny, the downsides include financial insecurity, irregular working hours and greater stress to do with the survival of the business.

taking the step to become self-employed is a brave and bold decision and we love the fact that in the UK more and more people are doing so.

Commenting on the statistics, Aldermore’s managing director for mortgages, Charles Haresnape, warned aspiring entrepreneurs to understand the risks of self-employment. We know that whilst it can open the door to many amazing opportunities, self-employment can be a risk, with uncertainty and financial instability from startup, he said.

Reasons for becoming self-employed

The research revealed money to be the key driving force behind people choosing self-employment. Some 37per cent of aspirational entrepreneurs surveyed saw an opportunity to earn more money in self-employment, rising to almost half of workers aged between 25 and 34.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

HR & Employment