What do you do when unemployment statistics keep growing and growing, and you start to feel as if your college/university degree is all but redundant? What do you do when you’re young, eager to work, wanting to support yourself, but simply can’t find any job you’re qualified for out there? You become your own boss, since the costs of opening a start-up seem to have lowered in direct proportion with rising unemployment statistics. That seems to be the trend around the world, even in countries such as the UK, where unemployment rates are dropping (recently fallen to 7.1 per cent). More and more people want to become self-employed than ever – so, if you’re wondering why and what’s in it for them, read on to learn more about this phenomenon.
Self-employment on a clear rise in Britain
The latest employment figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics revealed, early in January, that some 150,000 chose to become self-employed over the final quarter of 2013. In the September to October interval, 92,000 Brits became their own boss in a full-time regimen, which is far more than the 30,000 who had made the same decision in the three months leading up to the end of August. The same situation occurred with part-timers, of which 54,000 opened their own business in the lead-up to December. During the previous three months, only 3,000 Brits had decided to become self-employed.
Why do so many people want to become self-employed?
In the UK, self-employment is regulated by the PCG, a not-for-profit concerned with the rights of freelancers, be they full-time or part-time. The organization was less surprised than the media by the latest data, but they did comment with the reasons which have determined this trend.
· New self-employment Government policies
According to the PCG’s spokesperson, Louis Clark, Government talks regarding enterprise and start-ups are one factor that has been fueling the decision to become self-employed that has turned into a trend of late. With the population feeling that such talks represent a shift in governmental policies and improved legal frameworks for running their own business, it only makes sense that such changes would also be reflected in actual facts and figures.
· A focus on professional services
At the moment, the global economy seems to be focusing on professional services to a larger extent than ever. Not only does this seem to encourage people to become self-employed, but it’s also influencing the types of businesses they’re opening. Aside from independent service providers diving head-first into the world of business, more and more people are focusing on franchising. In Great Britain, for instance, turnovers for the franchise business increased by up to 20 per cent over five years, up to GBP13.7 billion, with 39,000 franchises registered, providing 561,000 people with a job. 250,000 of those jobs are full-time.
· Better, cheaper technology
Working remotely, collaborative work ethics, and a focus on better quality for lower overheads is also fueling the rise of self-employment. None of this, of course, would be possible without the rapidly growing development of new technologies, such as means of online communication and mobile devices. They’re making it easier than ever to work remotely, flexibly, and on the go. While a few years ago, an entrepreneur needed a $100,000 loan for venture capital that they would invest into a start-up, these days it’s far easier to start your own business for just a fraction of that cost. $500 will buy you a decent laptop and secure a few months’ worth of an Internet connection – which is just about all you need to become your own boss in 2014. Since the pressure of bank loans has been virtually removed from the equation, it’s also far more attractive to become self-employed these days than ever before.
· Rise of the digital economy
Tied in with the above point is the fact that it pays off to work online these days. Start your own small online store. Write content. Provide online consultancy services. Take on project based work in architecture, digital design, translation, animation – and just about any other creative line of work you can think of. The digital economy has turned all these dreams into a profitable reality for numerous professionals around the world.