Entrepreneurs and sole traders running businesses from garden sheds contribute almost £17 billion to the UK economy, according to new research.
A study by digital bank Starling suggests that 104,000 entrepreneurs and sole traders run operations from garden outbuildings.
The new research indicates that the recent increase in self-employment has seen more people choose to work from their own gardens than office environments.
It reported that 29% of micro-business owners and sole traders said they used their shed as an office at least occasionally, while 1.85% were exclusively run from sheds.
We have a tradition of entrepreneurialism in the UK and this, combined with the growing emphasis on a healthy work-life balance, has led to an explosion in people working from their homesAnne Boden, chief executive Starling Bank
Starling said this equated to an annual revenue of £16.64 billion.
Anne Boden, chief executive and founder of Starling Bank, said: “We have a tradition of entrepreneurialism in the UK and this, combined with the growing emphasis on a healthy work-life balance, has led to an explosion in people working from their homes.
“More people are opting for the freedom of being their own boss. That’s why we designed a business bank account that allows entrepreneurs to run their businesses’ finances from their mobile phones.”
Although the average shed worker said they spent £3,343 on construction and renovation it was estimated those running a business exclusively from their shed saved an average of £8,738 a year on rent, commuting costs, food expenses and other overheads.
Psychotherapeutic counsellor Katrina Murrell, from Northampton, runs her business from her garden shed.
She said: “In 2016, on maternity leave, with increasing anxiety about returning to work part-time and the cost of childcare, I thought there had to be a better option.
“As a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor, all I needed for my practice was me and a room.
“With the support of family and very little money, a DIY ‘shed’ was purchased, built in my garden and furnished with second-hand furniture.
“My home-based business has allowed me to flex my working hours and achieve my parenthood dreams.”