Is being your own boss the key to happiness?

Being your own boss is the key to happiness – even if it means working longer hours and taking fewer holidays, a major study has found.

Small business owners work an average of 51 hours a week, compared to 36 hours for an employee, while half of them take just 10 days holiday a year, compared to the national average of 28 days, according to research by leading small business support network Enterprise Nation.

But more than 80 per cent are happier being their own boss than they were before, with half enjoying a better work/life balance and one in three saying they are able to spend more time with their family.

Enterprise Nation’s 2022 Start-Up Barometer of small businesses found that 60 per cent of small business owners say they love being their own boss, and a similar amount say all the personal sacrifices involved are well worth it.

But 65 per cent admit to being lonely and more that 90 per cent would like to see more emotional and practical help available for small business owners.

Most get their biggest support from a spouse or partner, and while one in five say going it alone in business has put a strain on their relationship, the same amount say it has made their love stronger.

A huge majority, more than 85 per cent, are optimistic about business prospects in 2022, and 90 per cent think starting a small business is good for the UK economy as a whole.

More than half say Covid has been the biggest challenge for their business in the past two years, with just 15 per cent saying it was Brexit.

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said: “Our fascinating research shows just how positive starting and running your own small business can be. But it also highlights the sacrifices that have to be made, and how important it is to have both expert and emotional support.”

The UK’s largest show for small businesses returns this January, promising to inspire thousands of would-be entrepreneurs and support those who have already launched a business.

Now in its eighth year, StartUp is hosted by Enterprise Nation, the UK’s leading small business network. It will run online for 2022 in a bid to reach as many entrepreneurs as possible across the UK.

In view of current restrictions, StartUp 2022 will host events online with one single event for the UK on Friday 21st January and the Ireland show taking place on Friday 14th January 2022.

Emma Jones said: “We’re thrilled that our flagship event will be returning for its eighth year this January, with a wide array of exceptional guest speakers. Through StartUp 2022, we want to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and give existing business owners the tools they need to grow their companies throughout 2022.”