Sector rates and definitions
BBCE gives two aggregated definitions for business sectors (EA17 and EA51: defined in WP 5). Different sectors experienced different market opportunities and different effects arising from changes in the level of incorporation and growth in potential firm size. Absolute numbers increased in all sectors over the period. Employer numbers grew fastest in refreshments, transport and retail, but all sectors saw absolute growth over 1851-1911.
Entrepreneurship rates by sector changed in contrasted ways. The Atlas and graphs here gives rate by sector in the main EA17 categories. These have limitations because it is difficult or impossible to attribute all workers to the correct industry in which they were employed: e.g. general labourers and clerks were workers but we do not know from this occupation title in which sector. In addition, for some locations, all individuals in a sector were entrepreneurs (there were no workers). Hence the RSD 'rate' would be infinitely high; in these locations the Atlas rates are set to zero. As a result of these issues the maps can be used as only approximate guides to sector entrepreneurship rates.
Number of all entrepreneurs by sector
[Source: EA17, extended from Age of Entrepreneurship, Fig 4.4]
Entrepreneurship rates by sector
An important feature to note in the Atlas is that some sectors have a large proportion of proprietors; there are very few workers. For example in retail or innkeeping there may be two or three people operating the shop, but all are partners and there are few or no workers. Professionals like doctors, lawyers or auctioneers may also have only partners; and also many small construction industry proprietors like carpenters, plasterers or decorators, and small manufacturers like shoe makers, tailors, and hosiery businesses. When this is seen across the Atlas maps, in some locations there are very high sector rates in some locations, especially small rural communities and smaller towns.
Employer entrepreneurship rates by sector
Rates of employer entrepreneurship as a percentage of the economically active declined compared to the rapidly rising population and major growth in worker numbers in all sectors except refreshments and farming. But decline was fastest for agricultural processing and finance which saw large-scale business concentration. Although entrepreneurs in the professions were expanding numerically, they grew much more slowly than the workforce.
In the Atlas the steady growth of professions, refreshments and retailers can be seen to cover most of the country with high rates of entrepreneurship in these sectors, whilst other sectors have increasing concentration of higher rates in the large centres, e.g. for agricultural processing, construction and manufactures.
[Source: extended from Age of Entrepreneurship, Fig 4.5]
Own account entrepreneurship rates by sector
Own account experiences were different, their numbers grew rapidly, but again compared to the rapidly rising population and worker numbers entrepreneurship rates declined in almost all sectors, most strongly in refreshments and retail where larger employers were expanding and squeezing out own-account proprietors.
When viewed in the Atlas, it is the own account businesses that most influence the high entrepreneurship rates seen in many RSDs, especially in maker-dealing, retail, food sales, refreshments and services
[Source: extended from Age of Entrepreneurship, Fig 4.6]
The analysis by the BBCE research team defines sectors based on the I-CeM census occupational codes. These have been classified into 17 and 51 aggregate sectors, of which 13 and 44, respectively, contain entrepreneurs (the rest being solely sectors of workers such as domestic staff, civil service, military, or inactive codes). The 13 sectors are used in the graphs here. Detailed definitions used, and other sector coding (SIC, Feinstein, HISCO and PST) given in working paper 5 with a download definitions file.