Entrepreneurs face loneliness but feel greater “control over their own destiny”

Duncan Bannatyne says more must be done to support entrepreneurs and highlights the “reward and fulfilment” of building your own business

The UK’s 4.6 million entrepreneurs experience a mixed bag of positives and negatives as a result of being self-employed, with 93% enjoying being their own boss but 39% reporting loneliness, according to Aldemore.

The story was largely positive, with 82% of those surveyed reporting a greater sense of control over their own destiny and only 17% feeling less in control of their lives.

Feelings of loneliness and a lack of control were most pronounced amongst millennial entrepreneurs aged between 25 and 34: 54% said they had felt lonely and 34% had experienced a lack of control.

The most common concerns for business owners were having a regular source of income (55%), irregular work (52%), not being paid on time by clients (44%) and inconsistent cash flow (41%). They were least concerned by getting health and safety accreditations (4%) and having to fund their business by remortgaging a personal property (3%).

Encouragingly, although failure of business (33%) was a major concern for entrepreneurs before starting a business, it was far less of a concern for the currently self-employed (4%).

The key drivers for becoming self-employed were earning more money (37%) and being able to improve work-life balance (35%) – though a lack of free time was also a major concern (28%).

Charles McDowell, Aldermore’s commercial director of mortgages, said: “With four million British workers (17%) aspiring to be their own boss at some point during their working life and one in 10 (12%) aiming to make the transition in the next six months, it’s important they understand the realities.

“While we believe it is a brave and bold decision, and most love being their own boss, it’s apparent from our research being solely accountable can bring about feelings of isolation and stress.”

Duncan Bannatyne commented: “There has to be more done to support entrepreneurial Britain and in particular the self-employed as a crucial growth area for the economy.

“I know from experience that building a business is a massive challenge that at times can be very lonely particularly as you adjust to an irregular income and an uncertain future.

“However, what cannot be underestimated is the sense of reward and fulfilment that can be achieved from building a business from the ground up and being the master of your own destiny. With determination and dedication anyone can do it but the support network needs to be in place to help them achieve this.”

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