August 16, 2013 - Rachel Miller
New analysis from Direct Line for Business (DL4B), based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveals that just over half of all UK small firms are run from the home of the business owner.
The findings show that there are currently 2.5 million home-based business owners in the UK, representing just over half (52%) of the total number of UK SMEs. These home-based business owners now account for 8% of the UK's total workforce.
The analysis by DL4B shows some significant regional variations. The South East and South West have the highest concentration of home-based business owners, representing a tenth of the total workforce in both regions.
The largest concentration of all is in Herefordshire – where 27% of the county's 92,000 total workforce is a home-based business owner. Pembrokeshire is second with 23% and Eastbourne is third with 20%.
Men are more than twice as likely as women to run their own business from home, with 1.7 million male home business owners across the country, compared to around 818,000 female home business owners.
Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, said: "Self-employment has been on the rise for several years and our research shows that a great number of these people work for themselves from home."
The findings also show that 74% of home businesses keep all their stock at home, worth £4,388 on average.
With many people seeking a better work-life balance, a number of sectors have seen an increase in newly self-employed, including ecommerce, travel, marketing, recruitment and legal. Other key trades identified by DL4B are catering, photography, hairdressing and arts and crafts.