Self-employment is working for oneself. Self-employed people work for themselves instead of an employer, drawing income from a trade or business that they operate.
To be self-employed is not necessarily the same as being a business owner: Many self-employed people conduct the day-to-day operations of the business, either as managers as line workers or both. A business owner may or may not work in the business, and is not required do so. According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 44% of businesses survive the first 4 years in business.
Policymakers increasingly view self-employment in the form of youth entrepreneurship as a possible solution to the youth unemployment crisis. However, many experts believe only 20% of all people are fit to run their own businesses, so it should not be relied on as an “easy fix”.
In some countries’ governments (the US’s and UK’s, for example) are cracking down on disguised employment, often described as the pretense of a contractual intra-business relationship to hide what is otherwise a simple employer-employee relationship.