Salvation in a Start-up? The Origins and Nature of the Self-employment Boom

  • Dellot, B. (2014). (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), pp.1-70
  • Abstract: This report explores the factors behind the boom in self-employment and examines what life is really like for the growing numbers of people who now work for themselves. The report concludes by setting out a number of imperatives for the future: 1) Rewrite the narrative – There needs to be a more balanced debate about the benefits and costs of self-employment – one that does not drown in the hyperbole of ‘entrepreneurship’, nor one that treats self-employment as the haven for the desperate and needy 2) Agree a new settlement – An urgent task for the government and others is to improve the livelihoods of the vast majority of people who genuinely want to work for themselves. We recommend launching an urgent review of government policy on self-employment – from welfare and taxes, all the way through to education and housing 3) Harness the crowd – Greater collaboration between the self-employed community should be encouraged wherever possible. A good place to start is for the trade unions to begin recruiting such workers into their ranks of members. We should also recognise the benefits of ‘new mutualism’ and co-operatives between the self-employed 4) Stimulate growth and recruitment – The government has sought to stimulate recruitment and growth among the newly self-employed through several conventional measures, yet these have had little effect to date. This indicates the need for a fresh approach – one that treats the self-employed as inherently human and which goes with the grain of their behavioural quirks and frailties View external link »
  • Theme: Social aspects/Disadvantage/Poverty
  • Keywords: Circular economy; Creative economy; Employment; Enterprise; Entrepreneurship
  • Reference type: Report
  • Geographic location: UK
  • Quality:
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