Growth processes of home-based businesses

growthThe aim of this workstream is to enhance understanding of the growth processes of home-based businesses (HBBs), particularly how they overcome the burdens usually associated with being home-based (lack of space to take on employees, social isolation, etc.).

There seems to be the view prevalent that many HBBs do not want to grow and that the home is used as premises or base for the business as it is cost efficient. However, there is some evidence from longitudinal business analysis that many do grow in turnover but often remain micro in terms of employment. It was further found that in cities home-based businesses grow much quicker into medium-sized businesses than in locations outside cities (Houston and Reuschke, 2016).

Many HBBs might follow different growth paths to businesses in commercial premises. In particular, many may ‘subcontract’ growth in the local economy through collaboration with other self-employed/freelance workers (‘jobless’ growth, Mason et al. 2011). How to enhance HBBs not only to grow in terms of turnover but also in terms of employment is therefore a question that is highly relevant for economic development and inclusive growth.