Entrepreneurship Must Benefit All Parts of Our Society - Not Just the Rich

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 21, 2015 | Go to article overview

Entrepreneurship Must Benefit All Parts of Our Society - Not Just the Rich


Byline: Dylan Jones-Evans

One of the more significant research partnerships between universities and industry in recent times in the field of small business research has been the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC).

It was established in 2013 to act as a focal point internationally for research, knowledge and expertise on small to medium sized enterprise growth and entrepreneurship and, more importantly, to work with policymakers and practitioners to ensure its work shapes better policies and practices. One of its more interesting recent papers is that by Professor Sara Carter of Strathclyde University on the links between entrepreneurship and wealth.

Whereas most prior studies tend to look at entrepreneurial income, this case focuses more on household wealth, which is defined as a stock of accumulated assets.

As such, it provides a more robust measure of relative success and economic wellbeing over the life course of the business and the individual entrepreneur.

This type of variable would normally be difficult to measure, but fortunately the Office for National Statistics has recently introduced the UK Wealth and Assets Survey, a longitudinal general population survey that collects household and personal level data pertaining to wealth. This enabled the wealth of employers and self-employed individuals to be compared directly with employees earning a salary working for someone else and, more importantly, whether the wealth of entrepreneurial households can be shown to be related to being directly involved in entrepreneurship activities. So what does the study show us? First of all, it demonstrates that entrepreneurial households (i.e. self-employed with no employees as well as business owners with employees) are richer than those who work for someone else, with the median total wealth for entrepreneurial households (PS475,000) being almost double that of employee households (PS246,000). In addition, more than 20 per cent of entrepreneurial households are in the top 10 per cent of wealth and more than 50 per cent are within the 30 per cent of wealth bracket. These results clearly show that entrepreneurial households own disproportionately more wealth than other households. …

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