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January 17, 2014

Also in the news this week – 17 January 2014

The rise of the "grown up gap year"

38 is the best age to take a sabbatical from work, according to new research. The study of 2,000 workers by Hilton Hotels found that by this age, almost half of workers think they are financially stable and have the money to make the most of the once in a lifetime sabbatical. And 81% think "grown up gap years" are better later in life. One in ten workers said they have plans to take one at some point in the next year or so, while six in ten would like to in the future, but don't have any plans in place. Those planning a sabbatical would like to take an average of six weeks off, with travelling the top reason for extended leave.

More young people starting their own business

The number of people between 18 and 24 either starting a small business or freelancing has almost doubled in the past 12 months, according to a survey of 3,000 micro and small business owners by PeoplePerHour. This demographic is the fastest growing age group on the PeoplePerHour website. The survey also asked business owners of all ages how they felt about being their own boss – 87% said they were happy or very happy and 54% said they would never or were unlikely to consider working for someone else again. A third said they started working for themselves for a better work life balance.

SMEs showing new-found confidence

A survey of 2,000 small firms for Freelancer.co.uk has found that the UK's SMEs are more confident, with 56% saying they are more likely to invest in growth in the first six months of 2014 than the same time last year. In addition, 45% are looking to sell their products abroad through the internet for the first time. There has also been a surge in outsourcing, with a 46% growth in UK SMEs hiring IT engineers, a 34% increase in web design, a 28% increase in outsourcing graphic design jobs, a 26% in writing and 14% increase in marketing. "The UK is set to become Europe's fastest growing outsourcing economy," said Bill Little, director of Europe at Freelancer.co.uk.

International franchise opportunities come to UK

The British & International Franchise Exhibition will offer more international opportunities at London Olympia on 14 and 15 March 2014. With the US Department of Commerce granting Trade Fair Certification to the event, it is expected to feature many well known US brands including Agency Express, Cloud Bookkeeping, Snack in the Box and Yo Yo Noodle. The event's International Zone will also host franchises from Canada, Latin America and New Zealand. Visitors can plan their day at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk.

Will you have the nerve to wear Google Glass?

Google Glass is rumoured to be launching in April 2014, but a new survey by LoveMyVouchers.co.uk suggests many people would be too self-conscious to wear the device. The poll of over 1,000 people found that 68% said they were unlikely to invest in Google's latest invention because they would feel too embarrassed to wear it in public. And a similar number said that they would not feel comfortable talking to somebody who was wearing the device. The glasses, which enable users to experience augmented reality, are expected to cost about $600 USD. 53% said that the price was too high.