Almost half of UK employees want to start their own businesses

According to a survey conducted by Holvi and YouGov of over 1,000 full time workers, sole traders, freelancers and small business owners, almost half (47%) of full-time employees would consider starting their own business.

But a third of them (32%) fear that they wouldn’t be able to manage the financial side of being self-employed.

According to those who have already started their own business, these fears are normal. Nearly half of sole traders (47%) claim they pushed through their worries at launch without calling on additional support. Indeed, 41% say they didn’t experience any barriers when starting their business at all.

When asked where they’d seek advice, the full-time employees considering entrepreneurship said their first port of call would be online research (58%). The internet was followed by experts in the field (49%), friends and family (44%), and business experts (37%), while just over a third (35%) said they would consult their bank.

Discussing why they are considering starting their own business, employees pointed to a better work-life balance (43%), pursuing a passion (37%) and the idea of earning more money (32%). Only 1% of those surveyed said that they’d inherited a family business.

The research also found that:

  • Scotland is home to the most entrepreneurially-minded workers, with 58% considering starting their own venture. The North of England are the least likely to make the jump, with only 41% contemplating going it alone
  • Males (52%) are more likely to consider leaving their job to found a business than females (39%).
  • Young people (18-24) in full-time work are most likely to leave their role to pursue a passion (48%), rather than for better work-life balance (43%) or more money (33%).
  • Those working in media and marketing (68%) were most likely to take the leap into self-employment, followed by employees in fitness and wellbeing (65%) and trade (63%). Social media influencers were least likely to fly solo (29%).

Holvi’s CEO, Antti-Jussi Suominen, said: “There is a large number of people in the UK working full time for their employers who are considering taking the leap into self-employment.

"However, it’s clear that a fear of financial processes is holding them back. When you consider that sole traders are also ignoring their banks when it comes to seeking advice, it’s obvious that there’s something wrong here.”

Suominen continued: “Banks and other financial businesses need to make it easier for people to start their own businesses. It’s not about simply setting up a bank account, but also supporting them with the day to day aspects of business finance, including when their tax deadline is, what can be claimed on expenses, how to grow sustainably, and more. The status quo clearly isn’t working.

”Given the impact this section of the workforce have on the economy - and particularly in creating jobs - it is hugely important as much as possible is done to encourage venture creation.”

Startup Details

Startup Details



Holvi is the digital banking service specifically made for sole traders and freelancers. The service combines everything that they need for their financial management in a single, easy-to-use solution - from expense management, invoicing and a business master card to paperless accounting.

  • Headquarters Regions
    European Union (EU), Nordic Countries, Scandinavia
  • Founded Date
  • Founders
    Tuomas Toivonen
  • Operating Status
  • Number of Employees