Scilly Tops Britain’s Self-Employed League Table

hugh town from BuzzaThe government says that self-employment in Britain is at a 40 year high. And topping the list with the most number of people working for themselves is Scilly.

Using information from the 2011 census shows our islands has the highest self-employment rate of any local authority at 33%. This was followed by Orkney with 28% and West Somerset with 27%.

Kevin Oliver from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Business Forum says the data isn’t surprising.

He says there’s no big industry here that could employ large numbers of workers, meaning people will tend to set up small, niche businesses.

And in his view, in Scilly that will always be focussed on tourism.

Kevin says there’s a downside to the figures.

While Cornwall and Scilly have some of the highest levels of self-employment, average wages for those workers can be less than £10,000 a year.

He adds that can be part of a lifestyle choice to live and work here, with many self employed people being highly skilled, but under utilised.

Kevin says he’s always found business people here in Scilly to have more of an entrepreneurial spirit.

He says corporate culture can breed laziness and a feeling that employees aren’t important. If you work for yourself, he says, you’re in control of your destiny and more likely to feel you can make a difference.