‘Hybrid entrepreneurs’ worth $9.8b to our economy

First of its kind research from La Trobe University has found that hybrid entrepreneurs contribute $9.8 billion to the Australian economy and compromise over 315,000 start-ups.

Researchers sought to understand the representation of hybrid entrepreneurship, also known as moonlighting or a side-hustle, in the economic and social activities throughout many countries, particularly in Australia.

The term ‘hybrid entrepreneurship’ refers to simultaneous paid employment and entrepreneurship.

Researchers found that over 24 per cent of all Australian entrepreneurs start their businesses while still in a full-time job.

Lead researcher, Dr Alex Maritz, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the La Trobe Business School, said that the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation accelerated hybrid entrepreneurship.

“With spiraling inflation, accelerated interest and mortgage rates, and rapidly increasing utility costs, Australians are battling to afford their households, families, and lifestyles. Hybrid entrepreneurship provides an option to supplement personal or family income and provide social upliftment and wellbeing,” Professor Maritz said.

“Our research shows that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Not only can individuals increase their income, but side-hustles can help individuals learn new skills and gain new experiences. Hybrid entrepreneurship is an excellent way for budding/aspiring entrepreneurs to ‘test the waters’ of self- employment.

“Some of the risks include a time commitment to a side-hustle, which may be problematic if your schedule is already at a peak. But there is personal fulfillment, where individuals’ may feel satisfied and increase wellbeing, especially if they are feeling unfulfilled in their current job,” Professor Maritz said.

The findings also indicate that people involved in hybrid start-ups, which are predominantly worked on from home, have characteristics such as an inverted U-shaped age distribution, higher levels of education, greater innovativeness, increased risk aversion, a generally smaller business scope compared to full-time entrepreneurs, and a predominantly male representation of 68 per cent.

Research paper: Hybrid Entrepreneurs as the Neoteric Driver of Skill Variety and Economic Prosperity

Media: Courtney Carthy-O'Neill, c.carthy-oneill@latrobe.edu.au +61 487 448 734