With the notion of the 'job for life' long dead and buried, more and more people, especially women, are looking to self-employment as the best way forward, two studies have suggested.
The number of women starting up their own businesses has soared by 28 per cent since 2000, according to a survey by Barclays bank.
Continuing job insecurity, but a relatively stable economic environment, the pensions crisis and the break-up of the traditional family unit where the man was the main bread winner, are all likely factors in this growth.
A total of 150,000 women set up in the past year, compared with 117,000 in 2000 – the highest number ever recorded.
The figures also suggest that striking out on your own is most popular among single women seeking greater independence.
Eight out of 10 out those polled said it was now easier for women for start up their own businesses, and “singletons” going it alone had risen by 11 per cent since 2000.
Alongside the Barclays survey, latest figures from the Department of Trade and Industry have shown VAT registrations at their highest since records began in 1994.
Last year saw the highest percentage increase in VAT-registered firms since 1997, with an 8.1 per cent rise.
But as firms only need to become VAT registered when their turnover gets greater than £56,000, the true figure is likely to be much higher.
Louise Fowler, head of marketing for Barclays Small Business, said: "As more women step away from traditional lifestyles such as marriage, to have independence our research proves that this generation of women clearly are more confident and able to successfully manage their businesses."