Financial well-being of self-employed people in Wales

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ProjectsFebruary 10th, 2021

Addressing the problem of low-income and precarious self-employment in Wales.

Self-employment is critical to the financial wellbeing of around a quarter of a million people in Wales. It has grown rapidly and now accounts for 15% of employment, a quarter of all employment in some places.

It is important because some forms of self-employment are associated with low income – half of self-employed people earned less than £295 a week in 2016. Yet there is relatively limited understanding of the experiences of low-income self-employed people specifically in Wales.


  • To understand and raise awareness of the financial resilience of self-employed people in Wales, including patterns in self-employment and who self-employed people are.
  • Identify what the Welsh Government can take to to increase the financial resilience of self-employed people and develop practical steps for action.
  • To educate and persuade decision-makers about the need for action.

What we’re doing

We are looking at the financial resilience of self-employed people in Wales through a mixture of exploring the available data (i.e., who they are, what hours they work, income levels, what sectors they work in and personal characteristics like age and sex) and speaking directly to self-employed people about their experiences. Through this we want to know more about what financial well-being looks like for them – especially those who are in insecure or low paying work. This includes things such as savings, insurance, pensions, and day to day finances.  We are also examining what support is available for people who are self-employed and what that looks like elsewhere in other parts of the UK.  By doing this, we will develop practical proposals for action to help improve the financial well-being of self-employed people in Wales.

Get involved  

If you are an organisation working with self-employed people, we will be organising events, briefings and discussions that may be of interest to you. To keep in touch with all our news and activities sign up to our newsletter. If you are a self-employed person who would like to share your experiences, we would love to hear from you. You can contact us here.

Key outputs

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We are grateful to the Standard Life Foundation for funding this project

Project Start: May 2021

Project end: April 2022


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