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Bibby Financial Services undertake a number of studies and reports each year, to make sure we stay on top of developments in the business environment. The Livelihood businesses in the UK report is a study of micro-enterprises which was conducted earlier in the year. In this blogpost we’ll look back at the report and our findings around the motivation for starting a business.

According to research, one in seven workers in Britain was made redundant between 2007 and 2013. With these statistics in mind it’s not surprising to see a rise in small ‘livelihood’ businesses. However, while our study found nearly a quarter of these business owners have been made redundant other factors influence the desire to start up a business.

Be your own boss

Almost a third of those who start-up a business did so, in order to be their own boss. The decision making power and autonomy associated with working for yourself proved a popular draw, and was one of the most appealing aspects of starting an enterprise.

Keeping a business within a family has traditionally been a popular route into self-employment with one generation of entrepreneurs taking over from another. Although a number of ‘micro-businesses’ featured in the report did class themselves as family run, only six per cent of owners inherited the business from a family member, and only one in four of those surveyed expected to pass their business onto a family member, a third of those surveyed preferred to sell the business.

Market opportunity

13 per cent of owners had spotted a ‘market opportunity’ and credited this with their desire to set-up their own business. Nine per cent of those we spoke to also cited lifestyle choices associated with starting and running a business, and it seems true that a ‘micro-business’ can sometimes fit around other family associated commitments.

The large majority of owners are aged between 26 and 35 when they start their business. Less than one in five business owners were under 25, this suggests a smaller number of ‘young’ entrepreneurs than previously thought. Only 3% of the businesses we looked at were started by people over the age of 56.

Download the report

Please download the report for more information. On the Bibby Financial Services Blog we’ll be looking back at more findings from the report over the coming weeks so remember to keep checking back to see if our findings proved relevant for the rest of 2014 and beyond.

Contact Bibby Financial Services

As the UK’s leading independent invoice finance specialist and a trusted provider of cashflow funding to over 7,000 businesses, Bibby Financial Services provides a range of finance solutions for businesses in over 300 industry sectors. For more information about Bibby Financial Services’ cashflow solutions, visit: or call 0800 91 95 92.