The Value of
The Micro Business Handbook
8 November 2017
According to the latest figures, there are 5.5 million businesses in UK. 5.3 million (96%) businesses are
micro-businesses – employing 0–9 people. Micro- businesses accounted for 32% of employment and 19% of turnover. In terms of business growth, women-owned micro businesses appear to be an increasing part of both the U.K. and U.S. economies.
The latest report from Visaprint also makes for very interesting reading in you are a micro business, or are thinking of stating one. According to their research, Britain ranks fourth in the world with a micro business density of 81 micro businesses to every one-thousand people.
The Czech Republic beats The United States and Indonesia to claim the title of country with the most micro-businesses per capita – with 89 micro-businesses for every thousand Czechs.
This is according to the Global Micro-Business Impact Report, released by Vistaprint. The new report investigates the impact micro-businesses have on the global economy, by combining and comparing the latest available data from research leaders such as The European Commission and OECD.
Whilst the UK ranks highly in entrepreneurship, micro-businesses contribute less to Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment compared to other countries.
Micro-businesses make up a fifth (20.4%) of the UK economy (measured in GVA), narrowly missing the global average of 20.5%, whilst Norway sees two-fifths (38.1%) of its GVA come from micro-businesses – the highest globally.
UK micro-businesses employ 17.3% of the British workforce, which is just above half the global average of 32.3%. Comparatively, Australia’s micro-businesses employ 44.5% of their workforce and Spain’s employ 41.1%.
The Value of Micro Businesses
The 10 Most Micro-Business Dense Countries
Number of micro-businesses per 1000 people
- Czech Republic (89)
- Indonesia (86)
- United States of America (86)
- United Kingdom (81)
- Portugal (72)
- Slovakia (69)
- Iceland (68)
- Liechtenstein (67)
- Sweden (66)
- Paraguay (62)
Oliver Harcourt, head of Vistaprint UK says, “Small businesses are an essential part of the UK economy and it’s fantastic to see we have so many micro-businesses among us. The results from the research truly show the entrepreneurial spirit Britain embodies. However, it’s important we recognise the challenges micro-businesses are currently facing, including political and economic uncertainty, business rate increases and dampened consumer confidence. We, as the UK, need to ensure we continue to create an environment in which micro-businesses can thrive and grow.”
The Gross Value Added Per Micro Business in the EU
Further research from Vistaprint has also looked at the role of women in micro businesses. The number of women-owned micro businesses has outpaced men-owned firms for more than two decades. According to research released by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2010, the growth of women- owned small businesses more than doubled that of men-owned firms between 1997–2007.
In the U.K., there are almost 1.5 million women who are self- employed, and between 2008- 2011 they accounted for 80% of the newly self-employed population within the country.
Supporting existing micro businesses and those that will be created in the future is vital. Successive government have done little to support the small business community that continues to be the backbone of the UK’s economy.
With too much focus on tax the debate and action needs to take into consideration the particular needs of micro businesses. The Chancellor should take note that as we approach Brexit, the micro business community will be the foundation onto which the UK’s prosperity will be built after we leave the EU, whether this is with a hard or soft Brexit.