Listening to micro-business operators: what are their social and educational needs?
Samujh, H. (2004). Listening to micro-business operators: what are their social and educational needs? Paper presented to the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, Centre for Social Change Research, Queensland University of Technology, 29 October 2004.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9197
This paper discusses issues that had been revealed during 15 in-depth interviews and a subsequent questionnaire survey of 91 micro-business (five or fewer employees) operators in Hamilton, New Zealand. ‘How to support micro-business operators in their efforts to achieve successful, sustainable self-employment within this changing social world?’ has been the guiding research theme. The questionnaire was used to gauge opinions on and the extent of attitudes and feelings about being self-employed that had been revealed during the in-depth interviews and small business literature. This work gives voice to the perspectives of micro-business operators rather than that of experts or small business operators in general. Findings from this research suggest that micro-business operators need to be provided with opportunities for support and education to cope with psychological and social factors, particularly with fears, anxiety and isolation. Further, it appears that support is not available to micro-business operators in a way they can readily engage with. Lack of time appears as a reoccurring theme. Given the global trend towards self employment as a career option in the 21st Century, social policy makers need to be aware of the changing social and education needs and provide support to enhance micro-business start-up, survival and growth by encouraging initiatives that facilitate co-operative relationships and build social skills.
Centre for Social Change Research, Queensland University of Technology
Paper presented to the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference. © 2004 the author.
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