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Rapid rise in UK business spending on freelancers


21/02/2012

By Daniel Hunter

Small businesses in Britain are increasingly outsourcing work to a global network of skilled but inexpensive consultants and freelancers in a bid to cut costs and keep trading, as banks miss their lending targets, according to figures released by Freelancer.co.uk.

UK businesses increased their spending on freelancers by 134% in the year, a clear signal that they are urgently hiring more skilled workers for less. The figures reveal that more small businesses are taking advantage of skilled consultants from a network of 234 countries, making UK businesses the second largest employers of freelancers in the world.

The news comes on the back of the five main banks missing their Project Merlin target for lending to smaller firms by more than a billion pounds, and a 25% rise in the number of UK firms running into severe financial trouble in the final quarter of 2011 compared to the same time last year.

According to Saif Bonar, Freelancer.co.uk UK Manager, these figures show that small businesses are increasingly operating at the global level to survive.

“With a global workforce of more than three million highly skilled but affordable freelancers, it is little wonder that Britain’s small businesses have started outsourcing their work to secure and boost the bottom line,"Bonar said.

"They are increasingly taking advantage of freelancers offering a range of skills to support their businesses. Without them bankruptcy rates in the UK could be much higher.

“With Government support and lending from banks coming up short, small businesses have realised if they don’t outsource they won’t survive. With small and medium enterprises comprising 99.9% of the total of UK businesses, they are not only central to the British economy, supporting millions of jobs and livelihoods, but key to warding off a double-dip recession.”

The survey found that small businesses increased demand for app development... continued on page two >

 

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