Chris Hubbard: Why Lincolnshire is going self-employed

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Since 2010, the number of people nationally choosing self-employment over employment has increased by over 20%.

Certainly Greater Lincolnshire seems to be bucking the trend, with the annual rate of new start ups over the last five years increasing by 53%.

To give some context to the market for start-ups in Greater Lincolnshire, according to the most recent published statistics, 4,900 new businesses were created in 2015.

There seems to be a number of reasons as to why there is a growing trend towards self-employment.

Perhaps one of the key trends is people seeking to attain a better work/life balance with the chance of having greater freedom and control over their own destiny as well as a drive for starting their own business.

There also seems to be a growing trend for people to leave employment to work with their previous employer on a contract or self employed basis.

This approach, not least within the public sector, can give rise to mutual benefits to both the employer and employee.

Despite the associated debt of a student loan, many new ventures now come about as a result of University Graduates choosing to run their own business as opposed to entering the ever competitive market for graduate employment. Equally those undertaking more vocational courses in Further Education, often opt to pursue their trade through self employment rather than joining a trade related business.

Whilst there doesn’t appear to be a sector bias towards new start ups, with them coming from a broad range of business sectors, it does seem to be the case that many increasingly benefit from a relatively low cost base to start.

This would probably be expected, but does highlight the nature of start-ups, possibly around the provision of services, business administration, the trade etc. However we have seen a growth in new businesses involved in the digital and technology sectors.

For some dual income households it might be that a mix of full time, part time and self-employment create an ideal mix for a sustainable financial model for the household.

The importance of start-ups as part of a vibrant and sustainable economy cannot be stressed enough.

There is, however, a very real need for those making the bold and courageous move to go it alone, to be supported on their journey.

Family and friends will no doubt play a key part in this, but access to specialist advice, especially in the early days, can often be the difference in realising the dream or not.

Those thinking of starting a business or who are in the early stages of running their own business might find attending Start Up and Grow 2017 extremely beneficial.

This event will take place on Tuesday 21st February at The Showroom in Lincoln and will be hosted by Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Streets Chartered Accountants. For more information and to book your free place please visit the Streets Chartered Accountants website.