Record number of Brits want to be their own boss

New research shows that 11% of Brits plan to start a business in 2018 and 24% plan to work for themselves at some point in the future.

A survey of 1,000 working British people, carried out by accounting software provider FreeAgent, has found that 11% intend to start their own business in 2018. With over 32 million people currently working in the UK, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, it means that 3.5 million more Brits could become their own boss in the next 12 months.

FreeAgent conducted a similar poll last year and found that 3.2 million workers were prepared to start their own companies in 2017.

This year's survey also found that 8% of Brits plan to start their own business by the end of 2019 and 3% by the end of 2020. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they want to start their own business at some point, but don't yet have any concrete plans.

FreeAgent found that the top three reasons for wanting to start a business are:

  • Better work/life balance (44%);
  • Wanting to choose the type of work that they do (43%);
  • Attaining a greater sense of achievement (37%).

The top three concerns around setting up a business are:

  • The financial burden of setting up (35%);
  • Managing company finances (34%);
  • Lack of confidence (30%).

More women than men plan to set up their own business in 2018 (13% of women compared to 9% of men). Overall, 52% women dream of becoming their own boss compared to 46% of men.

Of the younger age groups surveyed, 57% of 18-34 year-olds said that they planned to become their own boss at some point. By comparison, 54% of 35-44 year olds, 45% of 45-54 year olds and 39% of over 55 year olds, said they wanted to start their own business.

Ed Molyneaux, ceo and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: "The desire for a better work/life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business - it's interesting to see that the younger generations are the most driven to become their own boss.

"One of the main reasons that new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow, so drawing up a detailed business plan and staying on top of your finances is key if you want to make your venture a success."

  • It is always a great pleasure to meet with Eric Gardner - such a lovely man and so professional and thorough!