18% of Welsh people 'wish they were self-employed'

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Some 18 per cent of people in Wales wish they were self-employed, according to a new report.

Research carried out by Populus on behalf of NatWest led to the discovery that almost one-fifth of working people in Wales would prefer to be their own boss, but many are worried their venture will fail, which is preventing them from taking the leap and going it alone.

Local publication Wales Online reported that while nearly one in five workers liked the idea of becoming self-employed, just two per cent are currently in the process of setting up their own limited company or other business venture.

Of the 18 per cent of survey respondents who said they would love to work for themselves, a further 18 per cent reported that they were put off doing so due to the current state of the UK economy, which remains somewhat unpredictable.

However, this marks a significant improvement from 2012, when 57 per cent of workers were put off becoming self-employed due to economic conditions.

Kevin Morgan, South Wales business banking regional director at NatWest, commented: "Despite improving economic conditions and a clear entrepreneurial desire in Wales, too many people are still being held back from following their ambitions.

"These figures highlight the need for the right early support for start-ups, which can help people overcome the barriers to starting and establishing a successful business."

In a bid to encourage and support more people into self-employment, NatWest has announced that it will be opening a new hub designed to encourage greater collaboration between freelancers and other budding self-employed individuals in partnership with KPMG.

The centre will be named Entrepreneurial Spark and is set to be located in Cardiff. It is designed to provide free mentoring, support and networking opportunities for start-up firms, alongside offering them accommodation for their new business premises.

Cardiff's hub will join other Entrepreneurial Spark sites that have already been set up in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Leeds in an attempt to boost support for Britain's growing self-employed workforce - at the last count, the Office for National Statistics estimated that some 4.6 million people now work for themselves.

In total, approximately 80 small businesses will be able to use the Cardiff centre at one time, meaning a large number of self-employed workers will have the chance to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities.

Those who use the Entrepreneurial Spark hub will also be able to access superfast broadband, and will be given the opportunity to sign up to a specialist start-up bootcamp-style course that is designed to equip them with the skills they need to get their business off the ground.

New limited company contractors or small business owners often require extra help with their accounts to ensure they are remaining compliant with HMRC, and this can be accessed via a specialist support service such as Brookson's, as well as through collaborating with peers in a collaborative entrepreneurial space.

By Victoria McDonnell

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