Self-employed told to mentor their budding peers

Self-employed freelancers helping would-be freelancers is one vital way that more people in deprived areas will set up their own business and prosper for themselves.

Such mentoring is one of a number of recommendations put forward yesterday by entrepreneur Michele Mone, who was commissioned by the government to probe how enterprise can excel in poorer communities.

Her review was launched after figures showed that, despite the high in self-employment nationally, in the 10% most deprived areas, people are almost 50% less likely to be self-employed.

The entrepreneur found that a lack of confidence, income insecurity and the “lack of a network of people well placed to give [relevant] advice” were all barriers to setting up a business alone.

“There is a wide range of reasons behind the gap in self-employment rates between more deprived communities and the national average,” Mone said. “In gathering evidence for this review, I observed a number of emotional and practical barriers that my recommendations address.”

The Federation of Small Businesses says it welcomes the entrepreneur’s review -- and its recommendations, which extend to banking, start-up loans, funding, local support and education.

“[But] most importantly, for those who are already self-employed, I encourage you to consider mentoring,” writes Mone, outlining her first and top recommendation. “I know how precious time can be to those who are self-employed, but equally I know how rewarding it can be to give a little back and help someone else starting out.”


1st March 2016

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