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Nearly 80% of self-employed live in poverty

  • 20/06/2017

This article is over a year old

One in seven of the working population are self-employed with an average income of £14,655.

Infographic saying '80% of the self employed live in poverty'

Whether you run your own business, work in the gig economy, or are a freelancer, the number of self-employed suffering from poverty is increasing.

There are around 4.8 million self-employed people currently working in the UK, nearly 80% of whom live in poverty, according to Tax Research UK.

One in seven of the working population are self-employed and their average income is just £14,655.

Definition of 'self-employed'

However, the term self-employed casts a wide net; it ranges from top earning accountant consultants to Deliveroo cyclists.

The top 1.7% of self-employed individuals make 30.7% of the total profits made by self-employed people.

At the other end of the scale, more than one in three small business owners take less than £100 income from their business each month.

John's story

56 year-old John from Wales was self-employed with an annual income of £18,000, while he was just about managing, he said his quality of life and financial well-being was ‘very poor’.

However, while John was searching online for a small business loan he came across the Turn2us website and successfully applied for a grant of £1,500.

John said: “It has made a huge difference. I am eternally grateful for the help that they’ve provided. I’d have been very stuck without them.”

Not limited to people who are self-employed

The trend of those in work but also in poverty is not just limited to the self-employed; 7.4 million people are now in poverty despite being in working families.

Use Turn2us resources to find help

If you are self-employed or in work but on a low income, use our Benefits Calculator and Grants Search to see if you could be eligible for help from a charitable fund.


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