# 17 (2014) Inventing Your Own Job – The Solution to Unemployment?
A couple of weeks back there was an article on BBC News about women taking up the mantle of enterpreneur (about half of the new figures for the last couple of years). At about the same time an article on UK unemployment numbers falling between October and December remarked on the record level of new business start ups – up 172,000 to 4.37 million.
Whilst this might be hailed as an achievement of sorts it should be remembered that a lot of these new business owners might simply be inventing their own jobs because of a lack of suitable or meaningful employment in the job market. If you’re a photographer but the Job Centre keep sending you to interviews to stack shelves in Morrisons you shouldn’t be blamed for setting yourself up in business.
According to the statistics, 1 in 7 people now works for themselves and whilst that may look good for Government figures it’s surely not an accurate portrayal of the number of people in work and actually earning a living wage. Many enterpreneurs are financially living on the edge.
The question ‘Self-employment boom: Good or Bad?’ is therefore a very valid one. What the statistics above do not detail is when and in what numbers those businesses folded or simply didn’t make enough money for their owners to survive on.
Businesscasestudies.co.uk suggests 1 in 3 businesses fail in their first 3 years but that does leave the other two thirds surviving and expanding over time. The reasons for failure are wide and varied and come down as much to the abilities of the enterpreneur as they do to any economic issues out of their control.
But that the number of small business owners has increased significantly since 2011 suggests many people may be setting up as a reaction to the lack of suitable work available. At least they are being proactive. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are finding enough work to get by on but at least it’s better than hanging around in the dole queue wondering when it will all end.