Southampton Top City for Self-Employment
Not for the first time, England’s South Coast has proven itself a high flier in the entrepreneurial stakes. In addition to a thriving startup scene, excellent lifestyle amenities and a well-connected location in which to grow a business, Southampton is ticking all the right boxes for Britain’s solo entrepreneurs.
A new study of 5,000 small business owners by Intuit Quickbooks concluded that Southampton is the best city to be self-employed in Britain. The research posed questions about self-employed working hours, holidays, job satisfaction and finance, and discovered that self-employed workers in Southampton work fewer hours yet continue to earn above the national average. The UK is now home to 4.6 million small and micro business owners and according to Dominic Allon, managing director at Intuit Europe, this rising number of self-employed entrepreneurs has been “fuelled by demand for a better quality of life”.
Indeed, Southampton’s attractive waterside lifestyle tipped the balance in its favour, and this trend only looks set to intensify amidst a raft of fast-paced residential and hospitality developments currently taking place in sought-after waterside locations. “This ranking will be particularly welcome news to Southampton residents, where the workforce has carved out the best balance to earn more, work less and be happier,” said Allon. Among them, occupiers at UBC’s Enterprise House offices in Southampton have been reaping the rewards of a professional, beautifully equipped waterside workplace.
Further interest in Southampton only serves to strengthen its small business community, which offers yet good news for local entrepreneurs. Technology enables greater work/life balance According to the research, Southampton came in above its fellow South Coast city of Brighton and ahead of other major cities including London, Edinburgh and Liverpool. However, as noted by Allon, many of today’s self-employed entrepreneurs have the opportunity to live and work in completely different locations. “New technologies and platforms are enabling more of us than ever to explore new income streams and dramatically different working habits,” he said. “Individuals must embrace technology, which has made the operations side of working for yourself faster, cheaper and easier, and in turn, boosted innovation and productivity.”
Of course the workplace plays a key part in productivity, and self-employed business owners in Southampton benefit from excellent workspace options -- including coworking. Self employed entrepreneurs are often well suited to coworking spaces, which are cost-effective, community-centric and above all, highly flexible. Enterprise House has its own shared workspace with on-site business amenities and two different flexible membership options, which is highly popular with local small business owners. Its marina views and excellent local cafes and restaurants also offer attractive perks to break up the working day. Whether for lifestyle or to grow a business -- or both -- it’s easy to see why Southampton is ticking all the right boxes for self-employed small business owners. Find out more about flexible shared workspace in Southampton here.