So-called ‘side hustle’ businesses in Australia number more than 315,000 and are worth an estimated AUD$9.8 billion (c$6.4 billion) to the economy, according to a study from La Trobe Business School, Melbourne.
Defined as ‘hybrid entrepreneurship’ in the study and referring to those pursuing paid employment and entrepreneurship simultaneously, the research also indicates that approximately 24 per cent of all Australian entrepreneurs start their businesses while still in a full-time job.
“Hybrid entrepreneurship provides an option to supplement personal or family income and provide social upliftment and wellbeing,” said lead researcher and professor of entrepreneurship at La Trobe Business School Alex Maritz. “Not only can individuals increase their income, they can also learn new skills and gain experience. Hybrid entrepreneurship is an excellent way for aspiring entrepreneurs to ‘test the waters’ of self-employment.”
Maritz noted that the pandemic and ongoing economic difficulties accelerated the side-hustle trend. He also said the findings showed that risks, such as overstretching existing time commitments, were outweighed by the benefits. Indeed, individuals who are more risk averse are more likely to opt for a side hustle than full-time entrepreneurship. The study was published in a special issue of Administrative Sciences.
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