Breaking taboos about unpaid carers and small business owners

ISBE member joins forces with ipse to better explore realities of how being an unpaid carer impacts small business owners and entrepreneurs

Adrian Ashton has begun to research the extent to which small business owners and entrepreneurs are also unpaid carers – having identified in the region of 500,000 such enterprises as part of Carers Week 2023, and also challenging accepting wisdom after finding the majority of which were created before their owners took on a caring role.

He also found that after their owners and founders take on a caring role for a family member, such enterprises largely pause their plans for investment and growth – based on there being no identified business support offer or service to help them remodel their business models to re-balance this change in their personal circumstances. And that unlike their counterparts in employed roles, there is no legal recognition or protection for them in this role.

Coupled with a person holding a caring role who is also able to continue running their enterprise in some way suffering a ‘carers penalty’ of lost earnings of in the region of £10,000 pa, this potentially equates to £5bn in lost revenue etc to the wider economy each year.

Through his relationship with ipse, this theme is now being explored as a matter of potential policy need, and has attracted the interest of other national sector bodies who are now recognising the importance of creating more insight and understanding of not only the personal cost of unpaid care on small business owners and entrepreneurs, but also the wider economy.

Read the full blog here.



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