The pursuit of happiness is driving many British workers to leave steady jobs and set up their own businesses based on their interests.
More than one in ten (12%) Brits have left their jobs to set up in a business that they are passionate about, according to a new study for Samsung Electronics UK conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and YouGov.
The research shows that these so-called "funpreneurs" expect to make an average of £22,594 in their first year of working and up to £33,845 within five years. In all, these start-ups are contributing £165bn to the UK economy, based on wages, taxes and profits.
The survey shows that two in five workers who left their jobs to pursue a career that aligns with their passions said they did so because they didn't like the working culture at their old company; almost a third (32%) said they wanted a change of lifestyle; and 14% said they wanted to be their own boss.
Of those that have left or plan to quit their jobs, technology (7%), retail (5%) and blogging (4%) top the list of industries that Brits have gone into. The biggest pay-offs for entrepreneurs that have followed their passion are higher job satisfaction (84%), increased creativity (63%) and improved focus at work (59%).
The study also revealed that more women than men have taken the leap of faith to turn their passions into pay checks (13% versus 11%). And across Britain, a larger proportion of people in London (15%) have left their jobs to pursue their passions than anywhere else in the country, with those in Yorkshire least likely to do so (8%).
Alasdair Cavalla, senior economist at CEBR, said: "We were fascinated to find that a clear majority of micro-businesses were set up by people passionate about their sector or product. Many small, dynamic businesses may never have been set up were it not for people taking this risk to pursue work that they care about. The economic benefits don't stop at the founding of the business - compared to whole-economy averages, we found clear evidence of fewer sick days, higher productivity and greater job satisfaction among people following their passion."