Side hustle – a pair of words that has gone mainstream since the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. But what exactly is a 'side hustle, and do you need one?
Some estimates suggest that as many as 27% of working South Africans have some sort of side hustle, and this figure is likely to continue to grow, say Dr. Kerrin Myres and Dr. Anastacia Mamabolo, who hosted a GIBS Flash Forum on Side Hustles in April.
“A side hustle is generally defined as anything outside your main source of income that adds money to your life,” explains Nic Haralambous, entrepreneur and the author of How to Start a Side Hustle. “It is not a side hustle if you've raised funding so it can replace your job. That's a start-up. It is a side hustle if it adds to your main and existing income stream."
Another term for this is “hybrid entrepreneurship”. While this has traditionally been frowned upon by employers, emerging research suggests numerous benefits, not only for people running the side hustle but also for the companies they work for.
“I believe that anybody can be an entrepreneur – it’s not for the select few,” says Myres. “Everybody should do it, especially given the stage of development of our economy, and even more so in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s almost your national duty to start a business. And how I started to get interested in the idea of side hustles was when I realised that this principle applies to people who are employees, as well as those who are not.”
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