Mental Health Awareness Week: encouraging lonely entrepreneurs to reach out

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, for which the theme is loneliness, SME accountancy firm, The Accountancy Partnership, is encouraging entrepreneurs to build founder support networks to reduce feelings of isolation.

Research into entrepreneurial mental health has found that reduced social contact is a challenge faced by almost a third (29%) of entrepreneurs, demonstrating the benefits of connecting with other likeminded business owners.

The research by The Accountancy Partnership found that the transition to remote working brought by the pandemic saw one in 10 small business owners reporting struggling with reduced enjoyment, satisfaction and business profitability as a result.

Lee Murphy, managing director at The Accountancy Partnership said: “Loneliness has been a huge issue across all of society since the first lockdown, with 70% of workers saying that the collapse of their work social life negatively impacted their wellbeing. Entrepreneurship is notorious for often being a lonely way of life, so it is crucial that business owners are making time to connect and be social now that all pandemic restrictions have lifted.”

The report found that only 10% of small business owners have sought help for mental health problems within a work environment – either from a work mentor or colleague. Most concerningly, almost a quarter (23%) of those struggling have not sought help at all.

Lee continued: “Co-working spaces are a great way to minimise isolation and interact with fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers and self-employed people. Other SME owners will understand the intricacies of running a small business, and what it means to be the one responsible for key decision-making, financial management and ensuring the business succeeds, so they can offer support in both a professional and social capacity.

“Particularly amidst the ever-increasing cost of business, confiding in people facing similar challenges is invaluable. Whether in person or online, entrepreneurs should take advantage of networking opportunities, such as subject-specific conferences and meetups for creatives. Social media also allows entrepreneurs to easily connect with other business owners. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are encouraging business founders to reach out, utilise resources to boost their mental health, and break the pattern of entrepreneurial loneliness.”

To read the SME Business Owner Mental Health Report in full and access other mental health resources for owners, visit The Accountancy Partnership’s website.