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More Brits plan to start a business post-pandemic

29 March 2022

Analysis of Google search data has revealed a sharp increase in the number of people planning to start their own venture in 2022, compared to before the pandemic.

A new study of UK self-employment trends based on Google search data has found that the number of people that are thinking about starting a business has increased by more than a third (36%) in the past two years.

The research, carried out by Novuna Business Cash Flow, has analysed the most searched for questions around starting a business on Google, comparing data pre and post-pandemic. The results show that monthly searches for how to start a business increased from 33,000 in March 2020 to 45,000 in January 2022.

Searches for other key phrases related to starting a business have also seen big rises in the past two years:

As well as looking at the search behaviour of budding entrepreneurs, the study also analysed LinkedIn data to identify UK self-employment hotspots. The research analysed the number of LinkedIn users in each UK city and compared that with the number of people with the job title "founder" or "owner" on the professional social networking platform.

The results show that the city of Bath has the highest percentage of self-employed workers in the UK, with 7.84% of people in the South West city running their own business. Brighton and Hove is second, with 7.73% of the working population running their own business, while St Albans (7.31%), Worcester (6.37%) and London (6.35%) also feature in the top five cities. Cities with the fewest people working for themselves include Aberdeen (3.23%), Coventry (3.31%) and Liverpool (3.59%).

Commenting on the research, Andy Dodd, managing director of Novuna Business Cash Flow, said: "With more and more people pursuing their own ventures, particularly since the pandemic, it's really interesting to see where the self-employment hotspots around the UK are. It's no surprise to see London in the top ten, but it's really great to see a wide spread of cities from all parts of the country with a high percentage of people owning their own businesses."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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