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The self-employed enjoy their work more, but everything is not sunshine and roses

Self employed are driven by a desire to have freedom and flexibility and they enjoy their work much more that people generally do. On the other hand, almost half of those self-employed fear that their business will go down if they fall ill. This is the conclusion of a survey published by Danske Bank in its 2019 report on the financial confidence of people in Denmark.

Being your own boss and doing what you love.

Most of the people in Denmark who are self-employed are so mainly out of a desire to have freedom, independency and flexibility. According to private economist Louise Aggerstrøm, motivation breeds high job satisfaction. This statement is based on the fact that self-employed people in Denmark are generally much happier in their work life that other people and they also have higher financial confidence scores, she says. However, only five per cent of the people in Denmark dream of being self-employed.

Why have you chosen to be self-employeed?

Source: Danskernes Økonomiske Tryghed 2019. Survey among 500 Danish self-employed done by YouGov march 2019.

A full 39 per cent of those who are self-employed have no desire to change their work life. For the population in general, that number is only 11 per cent. On top of this, people who are self-employed are also generally financially confident and have a more positive view of their own financial outlook than other people in Denmark have.

Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen 

Private economist, Danske Bank

Optimistic about their financial situation
More than 60 per cent of those who are self-employed have an optimistic view of their financial situation, and if their turnover exceeds a million kroner, that number climbs to 75 per cent. By comparison, about 50 per cent of the population in general have an optimistic view of their financial situation.

The generally high level of job satisfaction and financial confidence among the self-employed also means that almost 70 per cent of them would recommend life as a self-employed person to others. A mere 10 per cent would not recommend it.

More vulnerable in case of illness
Life as a self-employed person is not all sunshine and roses, however.

Compared with the rest of the population, people who are self-employed worry much more about debts and are less confident that they are saving enough for their retirement. And then they are far more vulnerable if they fall ill because many do not have insurance to cover the loss of their earning capacity, and many believe that the business risks going into bankruptcy if they suffer protracted illness.

How would the impact on your business be if you got ill?

Source: YouGov for Danske Bank  about self employed, 2019 on the question 'Which consequence would it have on your business if you got ill for a longer period?'