Starting your own business: putting your own job first
In 2006, more entrepreneurs than in 2002 started their own business to provide employment for themselves, and four new businesses in five had no employees. 113,000 unemployed workers started their own business in 2006, accounting for 40% of business starters. This proportion was a mere 34% in 2002. At the same time, the proportion of business starters receiving assistance rose significantly from 28% to 44%. Of business starters who had previously been employees, 26% were middle managers, while this figure was just 16% in 2002. 30% of business starters were women: this proportion rose slightly in four years. A quarter of the finance for new businesses comes from bank loans. The customer base for new businesses is increasingly based in the surrounding or local areas.