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  • Survey reveals 65% of aspiring entrepreneurs see opportunity in a weak economy 
  • Job dissatisfaction is driving start-ups – one in two are unhappy in their job

A new generation of ‘side hustlers’ is set to lead a start-up boom in the face of the economic recession and cost of living crisis.

A survey of 17,600 entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own business, or moving from a side hustle to set up a full-time business, has revealed that 65% are more likely to go ahead with their plans because of the worsening economic outlook, rather than being put off. 

One in five surveyed by online education program, Entrepreneur Seminar, have already taken the plunge and started a business or side hustle – a business run alongside a salaried job – in 2022. 

Job dissatisfaction is a driving force for many aspiring entrepreneurs – 54% of those in employment are not satisfied with their current role. A second motivating factor is the need to earn more money as the cost-of-living crisis bites; one in three say they are satisfied in their current role, but looking for an additional source of revenue.

But the impact of the Great Resignation, triggered by the Covid pandemic, is still apparent. The biggest motivation for starting a business in 2022 is to pursue a passion, cited by 30% of those surveyed. That was more important than earning more money or having more flexible working hours.

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The most popular start-up businesses in the current economic climate are in online e-commerce and e-learning, targeted by 45% of entrepreneurs surveyed, ahead of consulting (20%) and tech and real estate (both 10%).

More than one in two of the aspiring entrepreneurs are currently employed by SMEs, compared to just 12% working for corporations. One in three are in middle management roles, with 22% in senior management or the C-suite. 

The biggest obstacle to setting up their own business is financial management, cited by 30%, with 21% most concerned by the need to invest in a digital presence to reach new customers online. Reflecting the challenges of the current labour market, 19% say recruitment is their biggest concern. By contrast, only 15% say the economy is their primary challenge.

Entrepreneur Seminar CEO Martin Warner said:

“A recession can be a time of great opportunity for entrepreneurs rather than an excuse to play safe. Combining a full-time job with a side hustle has become increasingly common and we expect to see more of these entrepreneurs converting side hustles into full-time businesses. We have experienced an increased demand for education and training in recent months as the economy has worsened and people want to invest in their future prospects, which replicates what we have seen in previous downturns.

We have been running the Entrepreneur Seminar program for more than two decades and we know that consumers and investors are more open to innovation and market disruption during down-markets. With the right mentoring and support, many of these aspiring entrepreneurs who have an idea which they have already tested in the market should feel confident about taking it to the next level”.


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