The Surge of The Side Hustle

The Surge of The Side Hustle

It seems that the new entrepreneur is the enterprising individual with at least one side business they run part-time alongside their employed role. In fact, according to a recent study the number of part-time entrepreneurs with side businesses, dubbed ‘side hustles’, is rising exponentially. So, with this trend soon set to be the new norm, we look at what’s fuelling this surge and why it makes sense to have a side hustle in the modern working world.

According to a recent study of 1,100 adults and over 500 business leaders, by Henley Business School, 25% of people in the UK now have at least one side business which they run alongside their full-time job, and it is predicted that by 2030 this figure could rise to as much as 50% of the UK population. However, the popularity of having such a sideline is not limited to Britain, as a recent US study, by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, reported that as many as 37% of Americans also have a side hustle.

Fingers in many pies

So, having fingers in many pies now seems to be seen as a savvy way to get ahead. Indeed, creating a composite career consisting of a combination of a business venture, or two, and an employed role can be a great way to hedge your bets in the modern insecure job market – a case of diversify or die!

While you may not initially be able to earn enough solely from your side hustle to live on, it can bring in much-needed cash and could have the potential to take off in time and become your main source of income. Furthermore, to keep your head above water in what is commonly called the ‘gig economy’, it makes sense to have more than one string to your bow. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this trend is particularly prevalent among more recent generations, with millennials figuring highly in the number of people reported to run side hustles by the recent Bankrate study.

So, clearly, those generations brought up in a world where a job for life is a thing of the past have had to flex their entrepreneurial muscles more, out of necessity to build a career. This has therefore given rise to the coining of the new terms ‘Millennipreneur’ and now ‘iGenpreneur’ which encapsulate the intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit of these cohorts.

Improving the 9 to 5 grind

However, while the need to make ends meet may be of primary importance to many, there are other powerful reasons for starting a side business.

According to the research by Henley Business School, 73% of those who start a side hustle do so in order to follow a passion or explore a new challenge. And, despite the need to work extra hours on top of their employed role, 69% reported that having a side hustle made their lives feel more interesting. Indeed, boredom with the 9 to 5 corporate grind is now reaching endemic proportions and is enough to push many an enterprising individual to look elsewhere for fulfilment. Moreover, doing something worthwhile with your life is a major motivator for many, even if it does not fully fund you.

Indeed, if you want to make a success of your side hustle, it is vital that you choose something you can be really passionate about doing, as this will keep you going when you have to put in extra hours and times get tough. So, while some may choose to turn a hobby they love into a side hustle, others would be wise to find a business idea they can embrace and enjoy.

Direct selling

Online enterprise

Of course, many side hustles now involve selling products via websites such as eBay and Etsy, while letting out property via platforms such as Airbnb can also be a lucrative sideline. However, one growing trend is the rise of direct selling as a platform to build a business with very little initial outlay.

The modern direct selling industry has much to offer the aspiring entrepreneur in search of flexible work, with 63% of direct sellers in Europe saying that they run their businesses alongside full- or part-time jobs. Gone are the days when you had to hawk your wares door to door, as the modern successful direct seller has embraced social media and grows a global business via their online contacts.

The industry also now offers a whole plethora of high-quality products to be passionate about selling, from children’s books to organic beauty products. In fact, one organisation, LEO, even specialises in online entrepreneurship skills training, which can help you make a big success of your business.

As this is an industry which has suffered from scams masquerading as legitimate organisations, it is vital to do your homework before committing to a company. Therefore, it is advisable to consult one of the direct selling associations, such as the Direct Selling Association UK, which oversee the industry and can steer you towards reliable companies.


So, with many flexible options to choose from, it can make perfect sense to set up a side hustle alongside your job – a growing number of people certainly think so. Indeed, you could find yourself running a highly satisfying sideline, or, who knows, with a bit of hard work, it might even take off and go global, funding you full time.

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