Microbusinesses are returning to the forefront of the economy, a new report by the RSA will suggest.

Research conducted by the RSA for their ‘The Second Age of Small’ report revealed that microbusinesses account for 41% of employment in the 20 fastest growing industries, from figures taken between 2010 and 2014,  despite only representing 34% of overall employment.

Microbusinesses employ 75% of workers in personal service activities, 45% in computer programming and consultancy, 57% in education, and 40% in human health activities.

Interim findings, released in conjunction with the RSA’s self-employment summit, reveal that microbusinesses are likely to thrive in industries founded on relationships, experiences, artisanship and care, as these qualities that are more likely to be found among microbusinesses and the self-employed than larger corporate structures.

Benedict Dellot, senior researcher at the RSA, said:

“We have called this phenomenon the ‘Second Age of Small’ – a phrase that captures how the economy is returning to its roots.

“We seem to be going full circle. Why? First, because consumers are turning away from mass produced goods for more meaningful products. And second, because technology has diminished many of the advantages of scale.

“The lesson for government and wider society is to start treating microbusinesses and the self-employed more seriously.”

Recent figures revealed that there are now over 5 million microbusinesses in the UK – a 53% increase since 2000. In contrast, the number of large firms – classed as 250+ employees – has increased by just 2% in this time.

The RSA conducted a research project into the boom in self-employment in 2014, which they say addressed a variety of myths surrounding the sector.

We interviewed Benedict Dellot to find out more: