New figures have recently revealed that women are making up an increasingly large proportion of the UK’s cadre of one-man (or one-woman in this case) businesses, largely thanks to an ability to identify emerging lifestyle trends.
The official figures showed that more women than ever are choosing to start up a business, with 43,000 females opting to go it alone in 2011 compared to 34,000 in 2010.
Data from business insurance broker Simply Business revealed that based on a total of 117,000 newly self-employed quote requests received, growth was driven by women with creative or service-led offerings.
The increase means that more than a third (37%) of start-ups are now run by females, due to women making the decision to work for themselves as beauticians, hairdressers or pet minders. There has also been a rise in female cleaners, market stall traders, chefs and cake makers. However, women are also holding their own in highly skilled industries, with accountancy as the tenth most popular start-up occupation for females, while the number of self-employed female lawyers is also up by 16% over the past 12 months.
This corresponds with an overall increase in self-employment in the UK, where a current record of 4.1 million people registered to work for themselves in the 12 months to October 2011. This rise in self-employemt represents an increase of 4% on the previous year which is the highest since records began, according to the official Labour Force Survey. In November the PCG announced the official tally of freelancers in the UK was up to 1.6 million, a rise of 200,000 in just two years.
Companies House, the registrar of companies, has also affirmed this rise in start-ups, revealing that there are 2.5m active accounts on its records as of 18th December 2011, which is up 6% year-on-year.
There are conflicting opinions behind the case of the influx of self-employment in the UK with some putting the rise down to economic circumstances and increasing unemployment while others, including the PCG argue against this viewpoint.