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Coronavirus lockdown sees 'side hustles' surge as workers fear for day jobs

Side hustling is on the charge during lockdown. (Getty)

Coronavirus lockdown has led to a surge in people developing their “side hustle,” as workers fear for the security of their day jobs.

According to a survey conducted by GoDaddy, one in five workers stuck at home are using the time to set up a new business.

The proportion of these is even greater among those who have been furloughed or fear for the future of their jobs, with the number jumping to a third.

The top reason for wanting to become an entrepreneur among those surveyed was the thought of being their own boss.

Andy Walker, who founded local bakery delivery service Gingerbread Bakery during the coronavirus outbreak, said: “I’ve been thinking of setting up my own bakery for a long time. It’s always been a passion of mine, so after 25 years as a software developer, I decided 2020 was going to be the year I took on a new challenge.

Read more: Two-thirds of UK freelance professionals face income squeeze

“I started setting out plans in February but then COVID-19 started to take hold and I thought it wouldn’t happen. My online store is working brilliantly, and one day I would love to complement my website with a bakery in town.”

Irana Wasti, GoDaddy regional president for Europe, added: “We have always known the UK is full of budding entrepreneurs and it is this grit and determination that will be essential for our economic recovery. In fact, it is actually in times of economic hardship where a spirit of entrepreneurism can take hold, paving the way for new, resilient businesses.” 

Having a “side hustle” has long been a part of UK working life. The number of individuals who run their own businesses on top of their day job has risen by 32% in the last decade, contributing billions to the UK economy and creating thousands of jobs. 

Nevertheless experts have warned that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted, adding that many small business owners have been hardest by coronavirus.

A recent study by the University of Edinburgh found that 68% of entrepreneurs have cashflow concerns, up from 25% before the COVID-19 crisis.

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