Five things they don't tell you about micro-businesses

Five things “they don’t tell you about micro-businesses” have been revealed by the Royal Society for the encouragements of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA).

In its generally positive report into self-employed people and the UK’s five million micro-businesses (ventures with between 0 and 9 employees), the RSA listed the five as the following:

1. Micro-businesses excel in sectors based on relationships

Micro-businesses (excluding sole traders) have higher productivity levels than the sector-wide average in nine of the 19 fastest-growing industries (such as media production), scoring particularly well in sectors where relationships are important.

2. One third of micro-businesses consider themselves to be social enterprises

Thirty-three per cent of micro-businesses (excluding sole traders) consider themselves to be social enterprises, despite only five percent fitting the official definition.

3. Half of micro business owners are in highly skilled occupations

Forty-seven per cent of self-employed workers (i.e. those running micro-businesses) are in highly skilled positions, compared with 43 per cent of employees. The fastest growing type of self-employed occupation is journalism, where there are now more than 28,000 self-employed journalists. While some attempt to compete with large newspapers and publishers, the vast majority work with them on a freelance basis.

4. Micro-businesses are a gateway into the labour market for disadvantaged groups

The long-term sick, the disabled, migrants and the recently unemployed are all overrepresented in micro-businesses. Moreover, many micro-business owners say they chose to work for themselves so they can manage a mental or physical condition

5. Micro-business employees are the most satisfied workers

Micro-business employees score highest on most indicators of job satisfaction, including influence over their job, involvement in decision-making and good relations with management.


15th June 2015

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