A study on self-employment has identified a key new group of entrepreneurs - parents that want to fit their work around the school run.
According to the Good Life Report from AXA Business Insurance, one in every five new UK businesses is started by a parent whose primary motivation is to fit their work hours around school hours.
The most common occupations for school-runner businesses are: accountants, business consultants, caterers, copywriters, private tutors, textile designers, photographers, graphic designers and those in the film and digital media industries.
According to the findings, these freelancers typically work for five to six hours per day, sandwiched between the two school runs, they make £750 per month on average and, while this income is relatively low, it means they can eliminate childcare fees.
"The number of families where both parents work has increased by a third in the past 20 years. While family economics change, schools continue to follow a schedule that evolved over a century ago," said Gareth Howell, managing director at AXA Business Insurance.
"Even though rights to flexible hours have strengthened in recent years, most jobs advertised today still follow a strict nine-to-five model, and schools are not compromising either. Self-employment is one solution to this contradiction at the heart of many families today."
The survey results show that combining self-employment and parenting duties is a difficult balancing act for many. Getting more time to enjoy with children was a common expectation of self-employment among parents, but few felt they had achieved it. Just over a third of "school runner" business owners said they had more time for their kids after starting their business.
Six in ten said becoming self-employed had helped improve their mental wellbeing but three in ten said the nature of the stress had just changed rather than reduced.