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Number of graduates taking self-employed route doubles in a year

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A growing number of graduates are choosing to work for themselves rather than becoming employees, according to a study.

Research by PeoplePerHour, the online freelance marketplace, found that the number of recent graduates registering as freelancers or micro-business owners increased by 97 per cent over the past 12 months, with the number of male graduates up 110 per cent and female graduates up 94 per cent.

The most popular skills being offered by grads are website design and mobile app development.

The figures also revealed that the number of 18 to 21-year-olds registering on the website has increased by 69 per cent in the past year, suggesting that a growing number of young people are choosing the self-employed path over university.

The latest graduate unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that around 9 per cent of recent graduates were out of work, while 47 per cent were forced to take ‘non-graduate’ jobs after leaving university.

A separate survey of micro-business owners by PeoplePerHour found that the average cost to start a business from scratch is just over £632.

Advancements in mobile and online technology have also made it much easier to start-up and run businesses from anywhere.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, said: “There has never been a better time to start a business, and it seems Britain’s young graduates are doing just that.

“For those leaving university with student debts, the barrier to launching a business is typically a lack of start-up capital – and even though working for themselves may be an ambition for the future, the obvious and sensible first move is to find a job.

“However, we’re seeing a growing band of ambitious graduates who aren’t daunted by the prospect of venturing out on their own, and for those who do take the leap, it’s never been easier or cheaper to start a business.”

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