Chocolate entrepreneur Paul WilliamsPaul Heyes
Most entrepreneurs will tell you that starting a business is something they always felt destined to do. But a surprising number of ‘accidental’ entrepreneurs, people who never in a million years thought they’d be running their own business, can be found among the ranks of the self-employed.
A study of entrepreneurs by The Recruit Venture Group found that a third of business owners never planned on starting their own company. And in spite of the challenges they faced, from raising finance and finding customers to managing with little personal income, only 1% regret their decision, while 12% wish they’d started their business sooner. Ninety per cent say they are happier than when they were employed.
Gareth Jones, founder of Town Square Spaces, which offers space and support for people developing and growing businesses, says: “Some people are surprised that self-employment is rising, but I don’t think that starting a business is always a gamble. I’d argue that sticking at a job you hate is a bigger gamble.”
The idea of taking control is a big driver for people to work for themselves, while the rising profile of ‘entrepreneurs’ generally has helped more people realise that they can be part of it.
“More success stories are being shared and that is demystifying the notion of entrepreneurship,” says Jones. “Turning an idea or your skills into a profitable business, even if it just provides one person with a living, is realistic for many more people today.”