Women and enterprise ambassador backs National Freelancers Day

Friday 7 November 2014

National Freelancers Day has received new support, with the government ambassador for women and enterprise Lorely Burt giving her backing to the event. 

Taking place on November 19th, National Freelancers Day is the UK’s biggest celebration of self-employed professionals. 

It is aiming to celebrate the record number of people now operating as contractors in the UK - a figure which currently stands at 4.58 million, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Furthermore, across Europe this figure rises even higher, and the global figure is in the tens of millions.

Speaking about the event, Lorely Burt commented: “Record numbers of people across the UK are choosing self-employment so it’s hugely important that we celebrate these enterprising individuals. The decision to go it alone and start a microbusiness is an incredibly brave one and I’m delighted that National Freelancers Day gives them the recognition they deserve.”

The event is organised by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. It will see celebrations of freelancers, contractors and independent professionals across the country. The main event is taking place in the centre of London’s Tech City.

Furthermore, Manchester and Edinburgh will also play home to celebrations, and the event’s official website will be hosting live streams and interactive discussions throughout the day. People who want to get involved on social media can use the hashtag #NFD2014. 

IPSE director of policy and external affairs Simon McVicker noted that the number of people choosing to become their own boss is “rising by the minute”.  

He also noted that this means it is more important than ever to recognise and embrace the millions of self-employed people, who are “driving the economy forward”.

Mr McVicker commented: “To have the support of the Enterprise Ambassador is fantastic and shows that decision makers are sitting up and listening to independent professionals. Ahead of next year’s General Election, politicians from all parties have a real opportunity to give the self-employed the support they need to flourish, and UK plc will reap the rewards in return.”

This year marks the sixth National Freelancers Day. 

The IPSE’s manifesto, Britain’s Secret Weapon, aims to provide the government with proposals as to how it can “secure the UK’s future as the world’s most advanced innovation-driven economy for generations to come”.

It highlighted recognition as one of the biggest changes that needs to be made, and suggested appointing a minister for self-employment who would champion the self-employed at the heart of government, ensuring the sector - and its particular needs - are recognised. 

It also underlined the importance of supporting people who are just starting out, ensuring that self-employment and entrepreneurship are present on the curriculum at secondary and sixth form level. This, it believes, would ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to make it on their own - if they wish to do so. 

The organisation also calls for improvements to be made to infrastructure to support freelancers, for barriers to business to be broken down, and for a review of taxation to be carried out. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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