People who are self-employed earn their living from their own business, trade or profession rather than earning a salary or wage directly from an employer.

Self-employment and entrepreneurship in Tyne and Wear

Around 10% of those in work in Tyne and Wear are self-employed or work on a freelance basis. This equates to around 50,000 people, or roughly one in every twelve workers.

People often choose to become self-employed after they have built up skills, qualifications and experience working as an employee for another firm. To this extent self-employment may be more realistic as a longer term goal for most young people.

Self-employment is more common in some occupations such as in the building trade, accountancy, legal services or in the media industry where freelance work is common.

Being self-employed can have a number of attractive features such as allowing people more choice as to how, when and where they work. However, many self-employed people work longer hours than employees and have to be responsible for all aspects of running a business including marketing, finance and planning. Evidence from the HM Revenue and Customs shows that around a third of people who set up their own business and become self-employed fail within the first three years. So becoming self-employed can be a risky strategy and is not suitable for everyone.

Original written material and template Copyright @ Focus LMI 2014. The information may be used by Connexions Hub Services in Tyne and Wear and its partners for the use of delivering careers education and guidance and aspects of the Work Related Curriculum in schools and colleges. However, the information may not be used by any party for commercial purposes and the original material or template cannot be amended or updated without the written permission of Focus LMI.