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Financial news round-up for small businesses
by Startacus Admin
Welcome to the Startacus monthly financial news round-up, brought to you by Sophie Turton of Crunch Accounting. This month has revealed good news for SMEs and startups, as the government pledges more in growth funds and the country’s workers cotton on to the benefits of being self-employed.
Self-employed to outnumber public sector workers by 2018
The number of freelancers and contractors in the UK currently stands at 4.4 million and recent reports have shown this figure is growing fast. According to a study conducted by thinktank RSA, the UK’s self-employed population is expected to swell to five million in the next four years. Furthermore, the number of one-person businesses will outstrip those employed in the public sector by 2018.
Contractors earn three times national average wage
New research from the Professional Representation Network has found that the country’s top contractors are earning three times the national average wage. The data shows the top 100,000 UK contractors are earning £80,000 a year in comparison to the national average of £27,000.
The director at Professional Representation Network, Kristian Gourlay, said: “These findings illustrate the healthy state of contracting in the UK today. Such high levels of earnings suggest that for an increasing number of highly skilled professional people, working as a contractor is now a very attractive and rewarding career choice.”
SME legal sector to thrive in 2014
82% of small independent law firms described their business as either growing or stable, a report commissioned by legal research group, LexisNexis has found.
The survey found the reason for such growth was elevated competition, forcing companies to work harder and adapt to changing times. Two thirds of practitioners questioned had made changes to their business plan in the last year and over three quarters believe that constant evolution is required for smaller firms to stay at the top of the market place.
Many self-employed women earning “less than £10,000”
According to the Office for National Statistics’ recently released Personal Income Statistics 2011/2012 study, the gender pay gap between self-employed men and women is a whopping 40%. Self-employed men earn on average £17,000 per year, whereas self-employed women take home just £9,800. The disparity was most pronounced in London, where men took home more than double that of their female counterparts.
Economists are also speculating whether the recent explosive growth in the freelancing industry can be attributed to workers failing to find full-time positions and having no other option than to freelance or start their own business. The gap between male and female pay for self-employed workers only started to widen from 2012 - the first time male earnings have outgrown that of females in five years.
£1.6 million allocated to SMEs in Growth Vouchers
Within a month of the announcement of the government’s Growth Voucher Scheme, more than £1.6 million worth of Growth Vouchers have been allocated to hundreds of SMEs. The Growth Voucher Project, which is being led and administered for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills by business service provider BE Group, offers small and micro businesses a voucher worth up to £2,000 to go towards strategic businesses advice to help them grow.
The programme is being rolled out to 20,000 British businesses between now and March 2015, but the selected businesses must hit specific criteria. They must have been trading for at least a year, have fewer than 50 employees and have an annual turnover or a balance sheet worth no more than £10 million.
Startacus gives a huge thanks once again to Sophie and Crunch Accounting for sharing their expertise !
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