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Guest writer; OPINION.

Mike Learmond, FSB North Wales senior development manager North Wales is built on a small business economy. 94.9% of Welsh businesses are SMEs and these firms hire people across Wales.

Smaller firms hire people locally, spend their money locally and sustain vibrant local economies.

That's why FSB has this week launched a new report on how to support existing and future selfemployment. Going Solo: Understanding Self-Employment in Wales, found 38% of jobs growth in the last 10 years has been created by self-employment, and 13% of employment in Wales is found in the self-employed field.

However, Welsh Government's policy-making tends to be driven by sectors and has not always engaged with self-employment issues. FSB Wales has called on Welsh Government to undertake a policy review and to focus on several key issues.

The infrastructure to support self-employment in North Wales can always be built upon. Digital connectivity (particularly in rural Wales), transport infrastructure and the suitability of premises and availability of co-working spaces are all issues which should be reviewed by Welsh Government with a view to promoting the circumstances in which self-employment can thrive.

Our new report found that the effect of place on self-employment in Wales is significant.

The report identifies three local authority types in Wales, which are "rural" "urban and urban periphery" and "Valleys and deprived urban" which mostly divide into self-employment rates respectively of around 20%, between 10%-20%, and under 10%. This must be taken into account as we move towards regional economic development.

For some people, self-employment is a lifestyle choice and not a decision taken with the aim of growing a business.

For others the opposite is true, and while they start small, they have big ambitions. The Welsh Government must act to ensure we are doing everything possible to support the self-employed.

'' '' Government must act to support selfemployed

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 25, 2017
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