Budget Living

How Big Is The UK Side Business Economy?

A whopping £33 billion is generated by the side business economy. That’s a hefty amount built through a need or desire to earn a little cash on the side to help with the bills, boost savings or pay off debts.

Sunny’s recent survey shows that secondary wages boost monthly incomes by just over £360 per month. For those who can balance a full-time job with a side hustle that doesn’t interfere with family life, that’s a tidy sum that can help pave the way to greater financial independence.

What is the most popular side business?

Like Napoleon once said, we really are a nation of (digital) shopkeepers. Over two thirds (67%) of survey respondents sell goods online, be it second-hand furniture or clothing at car boot sales, or through websites and apps such as eBay, Amazon, Depop and Shpock. One in 10 (8%) make their extra cash through arts and crafts, with creative pursuits such as making and painting pottery and designing jewellery.

Why do people have a side business?

Of those surveyed, two in five (40%) said they started their business because they needed the extra cash, while a quarter (24%) wanted to make money independently. Showing further entrepreneurial spirit, one in five (19%) said they started working on their source of extra income because they realised an existing hobby could make money, while over one in seven (16%) said they wanted to be their own boss.

Side businesses in the UK

How Sunny collected the side business data:

  • Research conducted by Opinium Research between 29 January to 02 February 2018 amongst 1,551 UK adults who have a side business
  • In a nationally representative sample, 290 out of 2006 respondents said that they have a side business. 290 / 2006 * 51,767,000 (UK population) = 7,483,764 or 7.5 million.
  • On average, those who have a side business make £368.43 in a typical month from their side business. £368.43 * 7,483,764 * 12 months = £33,087,344,907 or £33 billion.

Do you have a side business or hustle that you’re proud of? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page.