Thousands rejecting the traditional workplace to run ‘micro-businesses’

Lifestyle choice found to be a major driving force behind young entrepreneurs working from home 

Rising numbers of young people are rejecting the traditional workplace to run their own ‘micro-business’ from home, according to new research from UK start-up specialist Company Formations MadeSimple.
In a survey of more than 1,300 small enterprises, a quarter (24%) of which were owned by 25-34-year-olds, the large majority (74%) said that they operated from home.
A big factor in this trend appears to be a growing reluctance to accept the traditional 9-5 desk job. When asked why they started their business in the first place, an overwhelming 28% cited lifestyle choice as the driving force. This cultural trend is supported by MadeSimple data, which shows 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.
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% of those surveyed citing this as their key reason for going it alone. A further 19% of micro-business owners said that their decision was borne out of a reluctance to work for someone else.
Nearly all (98%) of the businesses surveyed were ‘micro-businesses’, employing 10 people or less. These enterprises make up 95% of all businesses in the UK, accounting for 33% of employment and 18% of turnover.
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.
Howard Graham, CEO of Company Formations MadeSimple, said: “With all of the tools that you need to start a business now available online, we’re seeing record numbers of people choosing to break from convention and go it alone.
“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.”
“Another option for businesses seeking flexibility and a way to manage costs is to use a virtual office system, providing many of the benefits of an office without the physical space. This includes a city centre address, use of meeting rooms and, in some cases, support from additional staff who can help to take calls. For start-ups, a virtual office can be used while they are in the initial stages, providing a base until they are ready to take an actual office.”
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Hannah Hamilton, who is a former Fife College student, is a reporter and assistant content editor for Scotland B2B, specialising in B2B news and features. She can be contacted via