Self-employment. It is an aspiration for many – and is seriously on the rise. In the UK there are 4.6 million self-employed, and 27% of the employed would like to join them. Predictions suggest that by 2018 there will be more self-employed in the UK than public sector workers. You may ask what’s the issue if people are turning their aspirations into a reality? But delving deeper you discover self-employed and short-term contact workers who aren’t earning big money and often find it hard to accumulate any assets – let alone get a mortgage and buy a home. And what about support around areas such as tax, benefits or pensions. I’ve spent the last year working on a Co-operatives UK-led research project titled Not Alone. My colleagues and I have examined the needs of the ‘self-employed precariat’, including help with admin, access to finance and credit control, shared workspace, legal … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Alex Bird is a self-employed business adviser and researcher specialising in co-operatives, and is a member of the consultancy.coop.
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