Coronavirus, Poverty, Scottish Economy

Low income and enterprise

In this podcast, Emma Congreve speaks to Isla Kapasi from the University of Leeds about research carried out on low income self-employment in Scotland. This is a fascinating and important topic given the large numbers of people in poverty who are in self-employed households.

The research looks into the reasons why people start their own business, and the constraints they face in trying to earn an adequate income. In the podcast we also discuss what policy makers could do to support this group of the self-employed, and what Covid-19 may mean for the self employment.


Chair: Emma Congreve, FAI

Guest: Isla Kapasi, University of Leeds


(02:25) Motivations for self employment

(06:37) Are there particular groups that are affected

(11:53) Implications for policy

(24:12) Post Covid considerations for low income self employed

Links to further information on the project:

  • Authors: Isla Kapasi1, Rebecca Stirzaker2, Laura Galloway3, Laura Jackman4, Andreea Mihut5

    1 University of Leeds,, 0113 343 2611 (Contact Author) 

    2 University of South-Eastern Norway 

    3, 4 Heriot-Watt University

    5 University of Edinburgh

Funded by BA/Leverhulme:


Emma Congreve is a Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.

Isla Kapasi