Bristol News

Over half of South West SMEs admit to feeling lonely

Share Article

Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 05 December 2017 15:09

Over half of South West SMEs admit to feeling lonely

Sixty-three per cent of small business owners in the South West have felt lonely while running their company, according to new research by Ultimate Finance.

With small businesses accounting for 99.3 per cent of all private-sector companies, this research paints a worrying picture of widespread feelings of isolation throughout the SME community.

Loneliness has recently been identified as potentially fatal, with lonely people 29 per cent more likely to suffer a strike or heart disease, which are two of the leading causes of death in Britain, according to a study by the University of York.

Feelings of loneliness and isolation are being made worse by a perceived lack of support. Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed in the South West did not know who to turn to for professional advice when things were tough.

The research also pointed to failings within the wider business community, with 61 per cent of people saying there is not enough support in the UK for SMEs looking to expand.

Read more: Opinion: How to deal with back pain at work

Steve Noble, chief operating officer at Ultimate Finance, said: “It’s really worrying to hear that over half of South West SMEs are feeling lonely.

“I talk to business owners around the UK every day, and this research backs up what I already know – that they are feeing stressed and isolated. Although these feelings can be an unavoidable reality of running a company, it’s clear that more help should be available.   

“SMEs are a hugely valuable part of UK society, not only boosting the economy but contributing an enormous amount to local communities. We need to start taking better care of our business community and supporting the leaders who are working around the clock to succeed.”

Business psychologist Robert Stewart added: “I find business leaders often take on a huge amount of responsibility and can struggle to maintain a personal and professional balance in life.

“It's really positive to see research that highlights this issue and I would encourage the business community to come together in order to create a better network for SMEs experiencing these challenges.”

Share Article