Shop Etsy

Small business owners are happier!

May 29, 2014

by Jo Casley handmade and vintage goods

The RSA today published a major new study in partnership with Etsy, which takes an in-depth look at the UK’s growing community of self-employed ‘micro-business’ owners. Micro-businesses are defined as those with 0 – 9 employees – which describes a very large proportion of the Etsy seller community!

At Etsy, we were excited to work with the RSA to take the pulse of this growing sector of the self-employed community, and understand more about how micro-business owners feel about running their own businesses.

The report found that although the average full-time self-employed worker earns £74 a week less than a full time employee, 84% feel more satisfied than in a conventional job, and they enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being their own boss. Only 25% micro-business owners surveyed started up their business in order to escape unemployment, with many more starting their own businesses to achieve greater freedom, or make the most of their good ideas.

Micro-businesses are also a huge part of the British economic climate, with one person businesses representing 95% of growth in the self-employed community since 2000. The importance of small businesses like those on Etsy doesn’t surprise Matt Doris, who leads Etsy’s International Community Programmes team here in London. “These findings support our belief that micro-businesses with just one or two employees are incredibly important to the economy in the UK” says Matt. “The UK is a fast-growing market for us at Etsy and increasingly we are seeing people make the choice to quit their day job and pursue a creative career which provides more control and freedom in their lives.”

To download the report ‘Salvation in a Start-up?’, please visit the RSA website.


  • printsofheart

    Lisa from PrintsOfHeart said 5 years ago

    Haha aint that the truth. Great article X

  • WeddingLab

    SSW from WeddingLab said 5 years ago

    Great article!

  • oldewatches

    Andrew Spaxman from twentyonejewels said 5 years ago

    Good stuff!

  • jizbasusan

    Susan Jizba from TheWeaverOfWords said 5 years ago

    It is such an incredibly amazing feeling to create a business from the ground up on your own terms and see it succeed on an international basis. Without Etsy, I don't think that would be possible for me. Etsy provides that platform that allows my work been seen across the world!!!! It is so enormously satisfying to create all aspects of my own business and to do what I love doing....

  • bnorton8

    Barry Norton from nortonphotographic said 5 years ago

    Utter joke. Having set up my own business 10 years ago with the support of the Prince's Trust, it has been nothing but hard work and loss. It has robbed me of the very passion and enthusiasm I started out with as a true creative. The only people that seem to do well are the suck ups and sycophants that love money above all else.

  • Octavi

    Sarah Matthews from EthicalLifeStore said 5 years ago

    Nice to see this!

  • Mandalagirl

    Timea Varga from MandalaFairy said 5 years ago

    I started my small business 5 years ago and sometimes it is hard to make it trough the month (financially)...but I enjoy my freedom to do what I love and the fact that I am my own boss now. These are the two things that matter to me the most.


    G Vega from GVEGA said 5 years ago

    ♥♥♥ Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth ♥♥♥

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 5 years ago

    Interesting and inspiring data :) Thanks for sharing

  • GaryRam

    Gary and Heather from littleRamstudio said 5 years ago

    Makes for interesting reading. So much better sailing your own boat through life rather than paddling for someone else!

  • textilechicken

    textilechicken from textilechicken said 5 years ago

    Great stuff and i totally agree with gary and heathers comments above. Happily paddling.

  • midoritakaki

    Midori from midoritakaki said 5 years ago

    I found 72 page full report interesting. I am glad that Etsy is doing this type of survey and report. : )

  • lucysangster

    Lucy Sangster from UseOrOrnament said 5 years ago

    Really glad this work's been done, all the emphasis in the media is on large companies, the FTSE 100 etc and finance is hard to come by... If this helps divert attention then all the better, thanks RSA folks xxx

  • sjegan

    Sarah-Jane Egan from FragmentDesignsEtsy said 5 years ago

    I love love love being my own boss, and the idea of going back to work (as a teacher) terrifies me! I'm so happy working for myself and getting to plan out my own time, even if I do end up working all sorts or strange hours, and not sleep in December :)

  • TheHookNeuk

    FunkyFern from FunkyFern said 5 years ago

    I love being self employed. I'm looking forward making my Etsy shop grow and getting sales.

  • knotnstitch

    KnotnStitch from KnotnStitch said 5 years ago

    Interesting read, very informative. Thank you for sharing!!

  • cathpaperart

    Cathy from SeaMeadowDesigns said 5 years ago

    It can be tough at times, but so very worth it!

  • abenakcreation

    Virpi Irene Bendandi from ABenakCreation said 5 years ago

    I just completed a course for small business owners. Most of the other students also wanted to be small time entrepreneurs to express their creative ideas, be their own boss, decide their working ours, have an alternative employment, follow their passion. Small businesses are being encouraged as a viable employment option. Is it an easy choice? Definitely not. Making it pay will require a ton of initiative, get-up-and-go and hard work besides the fun of creating and making the things we love. If you can find your market niche, and make ends meet, doing what you love is definitely worth the effort!

  • MrsCollier16

    chelsie armstrong from matildamakesdesigns said 5 years ago

    I'm just starting my own business and even through I'm currently not making enough to pay the bills, I feel much happier knowing that even if I'm ill or busy I can still work at a time that suits me.

  • TheDorothyDays

    TheDorothyDays from TheDorothyDays said 5 years ago

    Thrilled to be part of this and really interested to read the results

  • salllman

    Gulabo from Cooldesires4u said 5 years ago

    Great Article ….!!

  • craftozone

    Mainak Aggarwal from craftozone said 5 years ago

    Great info . I feel happy to be own boss plus you explore yourself more once you are self employed rather than working under someone .

  • maggietuczapska

    Cherrie Hub from CherrieHub said 5 years ago

    so true, really great article, and yes, being self employed gives you heaps of self-satisfaction!

  • Kailajewellery

    Katarzyna Blachowicz from Kailajewellery said 5 years ago

    Great article!

  • Glenberg

    Linda Soderberg from CinderellaButtons said 5 years ago

    I'd love to be self employed and have at least a since of freedom, rather than never being sure if you will have a job at the end of the month!

  • geldenhud

    Dorinda from DorindaArt said 5 years ago

    Great article! Etsy has given me the platform to show my work to the world. It is hard work, but worth it. The challenge is to keep growing.

  • justsosara

    Just So Sara from JustSoSara said 5 years ago

    If you are doing something you feel passionate about then you never really do a days work!

  • tweetiepetite

    tweetiepetite from LaPetiteJamesPhotos said 5 years ago

    Only taking my first steps in this direction. Interesting reading.

  • CreateTheCut

    Create The Cut from CreateTheCut said 5 years ago

    I also took part in this survey and is so interesting to see the results. Very thankful for the opportunity Etsy has given me to kick start my business! I'm hoping that things will only continue to grow and get better.

  • hellosugarmouse

    hellosugarmouse from hellosugarmouse said 5 years ago

    A brilliant report: Can't wait for the second and third installments!

Sign in to add your own