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O2 predicts 'mobilepreneur' boom over next three years

Gabby Fernie

O2 Business predicts that Britain is on the cusp of a 'mobilepreneur' boom over the next three years, creating 35,500 jobs. 

The report, commissioned by O2 Business and conducted by development economics and pollsters Censuswide, defines a 'mobilepreneur' as someone who sets up and runs their business initially from a smartphone. 

It revealed that 31,000 new mobilepreneur businesses are anticipated to launch over the next three years - the bulk of these will be located in London, but many in the North, East and Scotland too. 

The lion's share of these new enterprises will be created by younger people. The report predicted that nearly a third (11,800) will be established by millennials, followed by Gen Z who are set to start 8,900. 

The results show that this surge of new ventures could generate an extra £790m in GDP over the three-year period - but only if all mobile operators give small businesses flexible tariffs that allow them to take control of how much they pay and when. Currently, inflexible billing practices are one of a number of barriers that put off aspiring mobilepreneurs, alongside costly tech and general start-up costs.

“The UK economy can’t bounce back fully until we break down barriers to business for our aspiring entrepreneurs. Inflexible, costly tariffs for tech clearly put some people off the idea of starting a business, as they don’t allow entrepreneurs the flexibility they need month-to-month. This is one barrier we can break down right now – and our research shows doing so will unleash a wave of new mobilepreneurs” said Kate Mulligan-Brown from O2 Business.

To help, O2 Business has launched a flexible package for small and medium-sized businesses, including the freedom to change contract lengths, flexible data tariffs and the option of adding digital tools such as Office 365 and McAfee.