Hiscox Side Hustle to Small Business™ Study Reveals Calculated Risks Entrepreneurs Embrace to Take their Side Hustles to the Next Level

NEW YORK,NY -- June 10, 2019 -- Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, today announced the findings of its 2019 Hiscox Side Hustle to Small Business™ Study, which surveyed 400 small business owners whose businesses first began as side hustles and revealed unique insights about their transformations. Respondents reported working an average of 20 hours per week on their side hustle while still employed in a full-time job—80% working outside of traditional work hours, and 72% making time on weekends. Hiscox also announced the launch of "The Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast" in which entrepreneurs open up about their first steps, challenges and lessons learned from transforming a side hustle into a full-time business. 

"While passion and optimism fuel the entrepreneurial spirit, we're seeing people take calculated risks to start their own business often while employed full-time," said Kevin Kerridge, Executive Vice President of Small Business Insurance at Hiscox USA. "The commitment and dedication of today's small business owners reinforce the crucial role a side hustle can play in helping people take their first steps as entrepreneurs."

Other study highlights include:


  • Courage Plays a Vital Role. For individuals considering a side hustle, fear of failure can be a deterrent, but their personal zeal often outweighs it. This courageous risk-taking often worked out in entrepreneurs' favor, as more than three quarters (76%) of respondents' current businesses came from their first side hustle. Entrepreneurs said fulfilling a dream of starting their own business (30%) and wanting to follow a passion (24%) were the top motivators. Furthermore, three out of 10 respondents decided to embrace the unknown by starting a side hustle in an industry completely unrelated to their full-time field.
  • The Price of Transition. With small business owners' dedication also comes the need for patience and determination. Respondents felt, on average, that $43,862 was the necessary amount of income they needed to make from their side hustle before making it their sole career and leaving the stability of a full-time position. They reported putting in the extra hours for 1 year and 7 months before quitting their full-time job, after which it took an average of three years to earn the same annual income.
  • Being an entrepreneur doesn't mean you have to take the journey alone. Managing a side hustle and full-time job presents a unique balancing act that requires entrepreneurs to retain their professional resolve while knowing when to ask for support. When it came to launching their side hustles, respondents were more likely to seek out a companion to share the experience —nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents established their side hustle with another person, most often a family member or partner (39%).
  • Entrepreneurs Protect Their Work. Small business owners reported they did not let the part-time nature or size of their side hustle overshadow the need to protect the venture from potential vulnerabilities. However, of the 31% who did not have insurance, more than half either thought it was unnecessary or did not know what kind to purchase, leaving themselves susceptible to risk.

New Podcast Gives a Voice to Side Hustle to Small Business Risk Takers

In the spirit of celebrating entrepreneurship, Hiscox announced the launch of "The Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast." From the courageous stories of these entrepreneurs come valuable business insights, inspiration and advice.

"When you think about the hustle and sheer will it took for these entrepreneurs to start a business while working a full-time job, it makes you truly appreciate the effort and want to celebrate their achievements," said Lou Casale, Head of Communications at Hiscox USA and host of "The Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast." "If you're thinking about starting a side hustle, this podcast is your chance to learn and hear the practical advice from those who have done it and use it to chart your own course."

The Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and TuneIn.

Hiscox USA provides a variety of specialty risk solutions, including a broad spectrum of professional errors & omissions, general liability, cyber and data security, media liability, management liability, crime, kidnap & ransom, terrorism and commercial property insurance products.

In the US, Hiscox has offices in New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV San Francisco, CA and White Plains, NY.

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About the Study

The Hiscox Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 400 US small business owners who first started their business as a side hustle, meaning while employed full-time at another company or business. The survey was conducted between December 13 and December 21, 2018 using an email invitation and an online survey.

About The Hiscox Group

Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: HSX). Our ambition is to be a respected specialist insurer with a diverse portfolio by product and geography. We believe that building balance between catastrophe-exposed business and less volatile local specialty business gives us opportunities for profitable growth throughout the insurance cycle. It's a long-standing strategy which in 2018 saw the business deliver a profit before tax of $137.4 million in a challenging year for insurers.

The Hiscox Group employs over 3,300 people in 14 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US, we offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers as well as homeowners. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS. In the US, Hiscox small business Insurance is underwritten by Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., a Chicago-based insurance company.

Our values define our business, with a focus on people, quality, courage and excellence in execution. We pride ourselves on being true to our word and our award-winning claims service is testament to that. For more information, visit www.hiscoxgroup.com.

Follow Hiscox USA on Twitter @HiscoxSmallbiz

The content provided above is provided for general informational purposes, but is not intended, nor shall it be deemed, to be business, legal or insurance advice for any particular or specific person or entity.

Media Contacts

Lou Casale
Hiscox USA
+1 646 442 8341
[email protected]

Gyawu Mahama
Hiscox USA
+1 678 781 6003
[email protected]