Derek Lancaster, owner of oven valeting firm Ovenu Darlington

Derek Lancaster, owner of oven valeting firm Ovenu Darlington

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the level of self-employment in the UK increased from 3.8m to 4.6m during the seven year period – a rise of almost 730,000 people.

It also revealed that, by the first quarter of this year, more than 4.7m workers were self-employed.

Derek Lancaster, owner of oven valeting firm Ovenu Darlington, has welcomed the positive data and feels that even more people should consider self-employment, whether starting from scratch or as part of a franchise.

Derek said: “The statistics are very pleasing and highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK, not to mention the contribution that self-employment has on the economy. Despite years of uncertainty, as a result of the economic downturn, the number of people starting a business or working for themselves actually grew significantly, which speaks volumes.

“Self-employment offers the opportunity to work around your own commitments, which is what I enjoy most about it, while also enjoying the thrill of running your own firm and all the hard work that comes with it. It is very challenging, but the best decision I made and I would certainly urge others to follow suit and take the plunge into self-employment and business.”

According to the British Franchise Assocation (BFA), in its most recent study with Natwest, 621,000 people are employed in the UK as a direct result of franchising, of which 321,000 are in full-time employment. The sector also contributes £15.1 billion – an increase of 46% over the last 10 years.

Derek added: “Franchising offers the ideal opportunity to become your own boss with the safety blanket of ongoing support. There has been a spate of redundancies and uncertainties in the jobs market as of late, so a franchise can provide the perfect fit for someone who is looking for a new job, without the hassle of re-training, as well as those who aren’t quite ready to retire.”

Ovenu Darlington serves homes and businesses in Darlington, Northallerton, Catterick, Richmond, Newton Aycliffe, Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle and all villages in between.

For more information about Ovenu Darlington, call 01325 540002 or 01677 427300, email ovenudarlington@gmail.com or you can visit www.ovenudarlington.net