Asking someone "why did you choose to become self-employed?" presumes that it was a choice.
Our research data shows a non-insignificant proportion of freelancers found that self-employment was their only option, perhaps not being able to find a job which works around other requirements, or simply the only way to generate income.
This was especially true during COVID, and this data from the US reflects that as an increasing proportion of people, especially for parents, and mothers moreso. A lack of affordable childcare, a lack of flexibility, a lack of roles which appreciate the challenges of parenting.
It's not just parenting which is the driver here - those with access issues, mental health conditions, ongoing physical health issues, carers, individuals with low-income, the list of reasons why many cannot find work which works, and people find themselves in contingent or precarious employment.
Many flourish in this way of working, many discover the benefits of self-employment - but many struggle in a situation which was not of their choosing or design, which can be hugely isolating and challenging without good preparation and support.
That's why we need to be supportive of all people working in all ways, rather than "but you're self-employed, you chose not to be in employment, so all accountability should fall to you" attitudes.
Not everyone has the privilege of being able to determine how they work.