UK entrepreneurs “sacrifice love, family and fun” to start a business

Business owners have contributed £157bn to the global 'after-hours' economy by working longer than standard industry hours

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The UK’s small and medium business owners have contributed £157bn to the global ‘after-hours’ economy by working longer than standard industry hours, according to a global survey by Sage out today.

The findings suggest that start-up entrepreneurs have “sacrificed” love, family and fun to start a business with a third of those surveyed having admitted to choosing work over family time and personal relationships – only one in 10 said this sacrifice had been worth it.

Despite working long hours to turn a business idea into a reality, UK business owners are said to have achieved a better work/life balance than the global average. Only 38% work more than 40 hours a week, compared to 57% of entrepreneurs in Germany and less than the global average of 46%.

When asked what drives them to work overtime, 31% of start-up entrepreneurs said they were fuelled by a love of what they do and 38% were motivated by a sense of achievement. Family was also a strong motivator with 11% running a family business and another 11% building a business which they hoped their children would run one day.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage, commented: “We know it takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life. This survey highlights the extent of that commitment.

“It is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, and the contribution of these businesses that powers the global economy. We should do all we can to support these heroes and recognise all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home.”

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