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Self-employment in Wales

February 10th 2021

Self-employment is critical to the financial wellbeing of around a quarter of a million people in Wales.

Self-employment has grown rapidly and now accounts for 15% of total employment, rising to more than 25% in some places.

The issue 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.


This project will review existing research on self-employment and conduct new analysis to understand people’s experiences, including employment history, current business activity and financial resilience.

It will explore the available levers and possible interventions by devolved administrations. The project will develop, test and refine proposals for Wales based on learning from the project and lessons from other nations.


This project is funded by the Standard Life Foundation. We are grateful to the Standard Life Foundation for their support


April 2021 to March 2022


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