One in ten UK adults now run microbusinesses based on their hobbies, new research has found.
These so-called “hobby entrepreneurs” are making an average of £1,815 extra each year from these ventures, generating an extra £8bn for the UK economy, according to research from credit card specialist Visa.
The most lucrative sideline business is design: UK hobbyists are making £3,707 on average for web design, graphic design and other artistic pastimes.
Part-time photographers are snapping up £2,405 a year, while occasional builders and decorators are making an additional £2,353.
Jewellery and accessory makers are generating the least income from their hobby at just £300. However, this remains the most popular niche amongst would-be entrepreneurs. 59pc of those polled would like to create a jewellery sideline, the same number as would like to start selling design services.
At 56pc, blogging is seen as a worthwhile hobby business, and 47pc and 42pc of UK adults are keen to get into beauty and fashion services and occasional childcare respectively.
Scottish hobby-entrepreneurs are particularly adept at making money from their microbusinesses, claiming to earn over £3,800 a year on average.
In the future, hobby entrepreneurship will become even more commonplace, the Everyone in Business report found. While 9pc of UK adults currently run a hobby business, 56pc of the 2,081 UK adults polled have a hobby or business idea that they believe could or do earn them extra income. Around half this group would like to pursue their hobby as a money-making venture in the future.
For the nation’s existing hobbyists, their businesses afford them an outlet for their creativity and they enjoy the freedom of making a little pocket money their way. These occasional entrepreneurs have said that it’s never been easier to start a micro-business as a result of the internet, e-commerce and online payment systems, which mean they can run a business efficiently and easily from home, at times that suit them.
Kevin Jenkins, managing director at Visa UK & Ireland said: “Hobby entrepreneurs are no longer limited to their neighbourhood audience or word-of-mouth marketing. Selling and marketing via the internet opens up the market to everyone. This is a chance for anyone and everyone to be in business with an idea or craft they are passionate about.”
However, would-be hobby entrepreneurs have identified a few barriers to launching microbusinesses. More than one in 10 fear that they won’t understand the technology to make their business profitable, while 11pc are unsure of how to manage online payments.