Insurance · 29 July 2015

Running a micro business is a family affair as two thirds of firms rely on relatives and friends

Some 43 per cent of business owners were helped by their other half
Some 43 per cent of business owners were helped by their other half
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of Britain’s micro businesses rely on support from friends and family to run their business, according to the latest Big Issues for Small Businesses report from Lloyds Bank Insurance.

The bi-annual study, designed to build an understanding of the issues affecting Britain’s micro businesses, found that friends and relatives put an average of six hours a week into helping these micro businesses stay afloat.

Four out of ten micro businesses paid their family and friends with an average salary of 14 per hour, just over half (50 per cent) said this support is unpaid meaning the UK’s family support economy could be worth around 64.3m per week.

This support included helping make business decisions (40 per cent), completing practical tasks (34 per cent), running errands (29 per cent), managing social media accounts (ten per cent) and helping with childcare (eight per cent).

Damien McGarrigle, head of business insurance at Lloyds Bank Insurance, said: ‘starting up and running a business can be all-consuming, with family and friends often rallying around small business owners to ensure they are successful.

Partners of business owners were most likely to offer a helping hand, with 43 per cent of firms helped by their other half, while one in five relied on their children and about 30 per cent usedfriends. The majority feel that the family support economy is hugely beneficial to micro businesses, with 84 per cent agreeing the participation of family and friends in day-to-day tasks has had a positive impact on their firm.

A quarter saidfamily and friends increase productivity, 35 per cent thought they made the business more manageable and 30 per cent mentioned theemotional support provided. It was apparent that relatives weren’t just chipping in occasionally for 24 per cent their help was instrumental in running the business.



Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.