Self-employment

You can start a business at any age, so if you have a great idea then don’t be afraid to make it happen.

Self-employment is on the rise, and the latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that 21% of 16 to 21 year olds say that they are likely to be self-employed at some point in the future.

Self-employment includes people who work as freelancers and contractors (meaning that they typically work for a number of different clients), and entrepreneurs, who turn the spark of an idea into their own business.

So what are the benefits of being your own boss? A survey of young business owners from a range of backgrounds found that three quarters of the young entrepreneurs surveyed said that they felt more job satisfaction than their peers who were employed. When you’re self-employed, you take responsibility for managing your own workload and hours, meaning you can choose to focus on work that really excites you.

Of course, there can be downsides too: people who are self-employed don’t get the same benefits as those with employers do, like paid annual leave and pension contributions. Self-employment can also mean that your income is less predictable, as you may not earn the same amount of money each month.

There is plenty of support and advice available to young entrepreneurs, from mentors who will share their own experience and help you to make business decisions, to free advice on putting together your business plan and applying for grants.

Find out more

Some of the websites where you can find out more include the Prince’s Trust, Youth Employment UK, Job Centre Plus and the Peter Jones Foundation.