The Population of Non-corporate Business Proprietors in England and Wales 1891–1911
Smith, Harry https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0961-9411
Montebruno, Piero https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8010-7446
This article uses population censuses to provide the first consistent counts of the population of business proprietors for 1891–1911. After appropriate adjustments for imperfect Census design the article confirms the persistence of own account self-employed as the most common businesses throughout the period. However, it identifies a turning point around 1901 when the business numbers decisively shifted towards larger firms, where employers with waged workers began substituting for many own account businesses. Developments were, however, multi-faceted, with important sector differences, and some fields of female business beginning to take off over the period, especially in retail and the professions.
Online Publication Date
business proprietors, self-employed, employers, sector change, gender, female entrepreneurship, Census, family firms, sole proprietors, professions, maker-dealers, retail, manufacturers, mining, farmers
Taylor & Francis
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/M010953/1)
This research has been supported by the ESRC under project grant ES/M010953: ‘Drivers of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses’.