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Over a third of Brits now run a side-hustle – with savvy entrepreneurs making over £5,000 each in additional income

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Simply Business

Simply Business

5 November 2021

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Over a third of Brits now run a side-hustle – with savvy entrepreneurs making over £5,000 each in additional income

  • Over a third (35%) of Brits now run a side hustle, with the majority of these businesses (55%) set up during the pandemic
  • More than one in 10 (14%) Brits with side hustles are making over £5,000 each in additional income, with over half (54%) making up to 10% of annual income through a side hustle
  • Nearly a third (28%) say the pandemic gave them time and energy to make their side hustle happen, with a quarter (23%) believing the pandemic made them reconsider what they wanted to do long term

Over a third (35%) of Brits now run a side hustle, with savvy entrepreneurs making over £5,000 each in additional income.

The study by small business insurer Simply Business revealed the majority (55%) of side hustles were set up during the pandemic, when people used their time, energy and the need for extra income to set up a side business.

As people across the UK turn their hobbies, skills and passions into successful side businesses, over one in 10 (14%) expect to make over £5,000 each in additional income in the next year. What’s more, over half (54%) now make up to 10% of their annual income from their side hustle.

Seven out of ten (72%) people running a side hustle are currently employees of a company, as people reevaluate their careers, look to make extra income, or pursue a hobby.

Why has the side hustle become so popular?

Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, widespread furlough and multiple lockdowns, people were able to start their side hustles at home. Nearly a third (28%) say the pandemic gave them time and energy to make their side hustle happen, while one quarter (23%) believe the pandemic made them reconsider what they wanted to do long term.

One in five (20%) have needed to make up for lost income due to the pandemic, as redundancies and reduced income tightened purse strings.

And we can expect to see the rise in side business continue – as a further third (31%) are thinking about setting up a side hustle in the near future. Of those thinking of starting up, more than a third (36%) have an idea but are still figuring it out, while a further 30% say they haven’t had the time yet to get started.

As the world gets back to work, a third (34%) of people with side hustles say they don’t have enough time to properly run their side business. A fifth (19%) struggle to get their work-life balance right, and 17% struggle to market their business and find customers.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “It is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that runs throughout the UK that more than one in three people now have a side hustle alongside their main source of income.

“Small businesses are crucial to the UK, accounting for 99% of all British businesses and contributing trillions of pounds a year to our economy. It’s therefore encouraging to see that so many people have taken the plunge during the pandemic and started side businesses.

“However, many also report roadblocks as they look to scale their side hustles – such as time, finance, and red tape, and it is vital that we all support their success. At Simply Business, we're acutely aware of the many challenges facing small business owners when starting up. That's why we’ve created our side hustle resource hub](, which offers business guides and practical resources to help side businesses get off the ground."

You can see the full data from the survey at Simply Business’ Side Hustle Resource Hub

Top 10 side hustles set up during the pandemic:

  1. Arts and Crafts
  2. Online shop / e-commerce
  3. Clothing and textiles
  4. Social media content creator
  5. Home baking / cake making
  6. Tutoring / teaching
  7. IT / computing including computing
  8. Marketing services inducing copywriting and design services
  9. Hair and beauty services
  10. Fitness / wellbeing


Survey of 1,001 UK adults conducted in October 2021

For further information, please contact:

Frank PR
[email protected]

About Simply Business

Simply Business is one of the UK’s biggest business insurance providers, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and insuring over 900,000 small businesses and landlords across Britain.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service, delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. Using the power of tech and data to create the best possible customer experiences, Simply Business employs over 800 people across offices in London, Northampton, and Boston in the US.

Owing to its internal underwriting capability, Simply Business can cover over 1,000 trade types – ranging from plumbers to accountants to dog walkers. An accredited B Corp for their positive social impact, Simply Business has also been voted the Sunday Times Best Company To Work For twice in a row.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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