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New research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the self-employed

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An OU academic is leading the expert panel strand of a new research project to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the self-employed in the UK.

Professor Elizabeth Daniel, Professor of Information Management in OU’s Faculty of Business and Law and her collaborators have been awarded a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant of £178,000 by UK Research and Innovation and the Economic and Social Research Council under their COVID-19 research funding.

Led by Dr Darja Reuschke from University of Southampton and in collaboration with Professor Andy Henley from Cardiff University, the project will study the impact of COVID-19 on self-employment across UK regions since the start of the pandemic and over the next 18 months.

Using a number of large representative datasets for the UK, the team will provide detailed quantitative analysis to inform national and local government support.

An appreciation of the personal impacts of the crisis will be obtained from in-depth interviewing a wide range of the self-employed. Insights will be supplemented by the formation of a panel of experts to give ongoing feedback on the emerging findings.

Professor Elizabeth Daniel highlights the importance of the expert panel in the project:

We will bring together experts on self-employment to facilitate the development of regionally and socially inclusive policy that ensures the rapid and robust recovery of this vital sector of the national economy.

The project: Addressing inclusivity in the spatial and social impacts of COVID-19 on the self-employed in the UK began on Monday 6 July 2020.

Find out more about OU research in the Faculty of Business and Law