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Sunday 17 February
My.Anglia > Student services > Employability > Self-employment

Employability Service

Email: | Call: 01245 68 6700


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Being self-employed or working in a freelance capacity simply means working for yourself rather than being employed by an organisation.

It is also possible to work for yourself whilst concurrently holding down an employed job, this is often referred to as having a "portfolio career". Often people do this when initially starting a small business.

Why self-employment?

There are a variety of reasons why people become self-employed or start their own business but self-employment is more common in some job sectors than others such as creative industries and IT.

There are a number of business structures and models but by far the simplest and quickest way to start a business is to set up as a sole trader.

Positives vs negatives

There are many great benefits to being self employed such as having the freedom to make your own decisions, independence and having flexible working hours. There are also some negatives you should consider such as the possibility of receiving little financial reward at first, the risk of failure and often having to work long hours.


There is a high level of commitment involved in starting a business so you need to take a good hard look at yourself to see if you are ready for this challenge. Auditing your skills and personality and building a support team of family, friends and advisers is as important as your idea and motivation.

Specific academic and professional qualifications may be essential for some self-employed professionals, such as dentists and barristers, so check your credentials.

Essential qualities include:

  • Willingness to take risks
  • Acceptance of uncertainty
  • Natural networker
  • Self-discipline
  • A total commitment to hard work
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Creativity

HMRC guidance and tax advice for the self-employed

Getting your tax right when you're self-employed can be difficult. Get some useful information and tips from HM Revenue and Customs.


Thomson Local

Thomson Local have devised a series of interactive guides to inspire Britain's entrepreneurs to take the plunge and start their own business! The following links are a one stop shop business resource hub which include advice on how to start a business from scratch, secure funding and understand your sector:

Concept Cupboard

Concept Cupboard is an online creative crowdsourcing service with a social purpose. It's a place where businesses can work with the most talented young creatives from across the UK to produce professional and cost effective print and digital marketing. It's a new way of working where everyone wins.

Project owners get great work and fantastic value. And our student and graduate creatives (aged between 18 - 25 years old) get to develop their portfolios. Plus if they win a project they can also earn some money at the same time. From logos, web design and animation through to printed marketing we're passionate about connecting small business and corporates to the very best rising creative talent.

Do you have a business idea?

The Big Pitch is a business idea competition exclusively for undergraduate and postgraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University. Our aim is simple: we want to find passionate entrepreneurs with exciting, imaginative business ideas and give them the chance to pitch for the money and support they need to make it happen.

Startup Lab at Anglia Ruskin

The Startup Lab is a new initiative to provide a dedicated space for students with early stage business ideas where they can test and develop their ideas in a supportive environment among like-minded peers.

The Employability Service hold workshops designed to help you with self-employment. For more information please email