The Rise of the Edinburgh Freelancers (And London’s attraction to them)

November 3, 2013 11:45 am


Freelancing has often been dubbed as the “industrial revolution of our time” or the “rise of the creative class” but what exactly is the reason behind the success of the £202 million freelance market that is starting to captivate Edinburgh’s own residents and London’s companies to them?

working from home

“The phenomenon of flexible working benefits everyone; as a freelancer I feel like I can pick my working hours ensuring a stable work/life balance and I guess this also is beneficial to companies as they can save time and money by paying for only the services they need,” says Mary Thewart, a freelancer in Edinburgh who specialises in book-keeping and accounting.

Mary Thewart, is just one of the many freelancers in Edinburgh who are finding work sourced from London-based companies.  According to a report released by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and Vodaphone UK, “UK organisations that maximize flexibility in their labour force could make savings and achieve productivity increases adding up to a total value of £8.1 billion”. This research taken from a survey of over 2,800 employers and workers can back up some of the benefits of freelancing.

Edinburgh’s freelancers especially, are finding that London companies are reaching out to them and as a consequence, freelancers are receiving more work opportunities from companies in London.

Lovemycourse are just one of the London-based companies noticing the rise in revenue from residents in the Edinburgh area over the last two months.

A spokesperson from Lovemycourse states, “We have observed a growing market for freelance work in Edinburgh. We believe this is as a result of consumer spending and interest in that area. In fact, in the last six months, bookings made there has increased by 15%.”

With technology accumulating and adapting to our wants and needs, a market has grown for freelancing websites. These websites allow freelancers, especially those living in areas like Edinburgh, to work with companies all over the world and “sell” their services from the comfort of their own home to buyers in need of designers, writers, marketing professionals or software developers.

Lovemycourse is one of the many websites that offer freelancers the opportunity to showcase their work in their local area. John Wilson, a freelancer and Director of Fireworks web Design Company says, “I understand a lot of people are put off freelancing as they are unable to find work that pays well. This, however, is changing. As more freelancing websites are gaining popularity, this generates increased profits allowing our economy to grow. I see nothing wrong with freelancing; I think it offers you a lot of amazing opportunities and would encourage everyone to try it out.”


Some of the companies using Lovemycourse’s services include Lothian Wine School, Bellini Cookery School and Millefiori Floral Design.

The Edinburgh Hat Studio is one of the many companies using sites like Lovemycourse to increase awareness of their companies through the use of instructional courses, which in The Edinburgh Hat Studio’s case is a hat-making lesson.


Another example of a freelancing website is peopleperhour, who take a buyer and a seller and create a “match” for only a 10% cut, and with an average job value of $547 (£378), peopleperhour is one of the lucrative freelance websites.


Freelancer is the largest and oldest freelance website, reputed for the diversity and amount of work available, and with over 8 million users, employers can hire a freelancer to do contract work for a fraction of the price.

Many freelancers self report higher pay rates, higher levels of job satisfaction and a greater work/life balance than traditional jobs but it is still not for everyone. The question is, is it for you?


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