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Flexibility, Family, Empowerment and Control: COVID-19’s Effect on Self-employment

Forerunner Ventures’ The universal holding pattern: a period of trial followed by an era of opportunity covers survey work they’ve done on the impact of the pandemic on consumers.

One of their main findings is the desire for empowerment and independence has increased.

Key quote:

The pandemic offered a taste of independence with remote work for some and a desire to have control over one’s own destiny in a fractured economy for others, making self-employment an increasingly attractive option.

As Forerunner’s chart below shows, a substantial portion of Americans – and especially those with kids at home – are more interested in working for themselves.

Forerunner survey

The main reason Forerunner’s survey found for the growing interest in self-employment is flexibility.  Again from the article:

“Of the group that wanted to try self-employment, 59% of people said flexibility was the primary factor … There’s empowerment in self-employment and the independence that comes from owning your own time, traveling when desired, and balancing work and private life …”

This, of course, is no surprise.

Flexibility, autonomy and control have long been known as the key reasons people choose to be self-employed.

There’s mounting evidence that self-employment in surging in the U.S., and this survey adds to the evidence.


This article was originally published here.

Steve King

Steve King

Steve King is an advisory board member of JEM and a Partner at Emergent Research. Steve’s current research and consulting is focused on economic decentralization, the growth of small business and the future of work and workplaces. Steve has extensive consulting, marketing and general management experience with both large and small companies. Steve has served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Macromedia, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific for Lotus Development Corporation and Vice President of Marketing for Isys Corporation. He has also been the interim CEO, CMO or head of business development for six start-up technology companies and has served on the fiduciary or advisory boards of over a dozen companies. Steve was a Founding Fellow and board member of the Society For New Communications Research, is a research affiliate at the Future of Work and an advisory board member at Pond Ventures. Steve has a B.S. from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.

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