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Quarter of Startups Created Through Redundancy

Small Business News

11th July 2011

Redundancy continues to drive the creation of business start-ups in the UK as new research has shown.

According to small-business insurer Hiscox, 17% of new businesses are started by people who have recently been made redundant.

With economic conditions remaining tough and the unemployment rate at 7.7%, starting up could be the best way forward for many recently unemployed.

According to their research, 28% of respondents cited wanting to be their own boss as the key reason for starting up, while 20% wanted to “live their dream”. Three-quarters (77%) admitted their business idea was not new, merely “an improvement on existing offerings”.

“Entrepreneurs are starting businesses to take control of their future, whether they have experienced redundancy or want to pursue their dreams.”

said Alan Thomas, small business insurance expert at Hiscox.

“They don’t always need to reinvent the wheel, [just] offer a fresh perspective on an existing idea. Starting up can be daunting, but if you work hard, understand your risks and keep your self-belief, you can succeed.”

Alex Astell, owner of managemywebsite.co.uk, agrees.

“After I was made redundant [in 2008], I realised there was a huge gap in the market for freelance project managers in the web design and web marketing arena, that’s why I started Manage My Website.”

Astell said she had no regrets about starting her own business:

“It's been incredibly hard at times, but I get a lot of job satisfaction. The only negative is that you can never totally switch off, but that doesn’t bother me. When it’s your own business and you’re passionate about what you’re doing, working long hours doesn't matter.”

Kevin Dendy is another business-owner who is happy he took the plunge. He said:

“I started [Wimbledon-based events organiser and marketing company] Grand Slam Events after being made redundant for the fourth time. I decided that any future from now on would be in my own hands. It’s the best decision I have ever made.”