From unemployment to self-employment: Can enterprise policy intensify the risks of poverty?

Mike Danson, Laura Galloway, Mohamed Sherif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Analysis of the large rise in the numbers of self-employed in
the UK reveals high levels of in-work poverty, especially among those
coming off of social security benefits. Policies that are developed to
alleviate social and economic risk regularly lead to behavioural
responses to perceptions about the nature of such risk and to make
individuals more accountable. Informed by accounting, finance and
economic theories of risk, interviews with key informants who are
experiencing self-employment and poverty, along with professionals from
business and community development and poverty alleviation, are used to
explore the support available to new entrepreneurs. Findings include that
policy push from unemployment to self-employment shifts the social risks
and responsibilities of employment from state and employers to those
individuals with least capacity to bear them. Measures to mitigate
resource disadvantage, including the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme, are
found to be wanting and inadequate for the main client groups, and fail
to reduce the social and economic risks faced in starting up a new
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2020


  • Accountability
  • In-work poverty
  • Self-employment
  • Social risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Information Systems and Management


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