'Kirstie Allsopp effect' inspires new wave of craft-led enterprise
Budding entrepreneurs are turning to their hobbies to make ends meet, with a so-called 'Kirstie Allsopp effect' inspiring craft-based business sidelines.
According to insurance company Aviva's latest SME Pulse survey, hobbies such as photography and cake-baking are being turned into part time businesses, with other individuals providing website design, consultancy, retail and trade skills like decorating.
The survey found that 45% of part-time business owners in the South West launched and run their businesses to supplement existing incomes.
And six out of ten people are juggling their part-time business with a full-time job.
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Part-time enterprises in the region generate an average annual turnover of £2,780, while those in the East Midlands have the highest turnover at £6,400 per year.
Inspired by the Kirstie Allsopp effect, more women are likely to have creative part- time businesses than men, according to Aviva.
Its research also reveals that women are more ambitious, with more than a third of them planning to eventually make their hobby full-time, compared to 25% of men.
In Newton Abbot, Emma Gunatilleke's retail enterprise, Teddy's Cakes, is going from strength to strength, just four months after launching on the high street.
The former occupational health nurse began baking cupcakes to order from her kitchen table, after relocating to the Westcountry from Sussex four years ago and needing to find a new income source.
"I literally started by handing out flyers in the playground, to see what would happen from there," she said.
Gradually expanding to market the venture online, she established high street premises earlier this year, selling cupcakes and taking orders for bespoke occasion cakes.
"It's getting bigger and bigger and I'm already ahead of my targets," she said."It's better than I imagined."
For those planning to go full time, 27% told the Aviva survey they will only do so once demand exceeds their expectations, with securing growth funding the second most important consideration.
Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said: "It seems that many entrepreneurs are taking their first steps to becoming businesses of the future, which is exciting news for the economy, especially in light of recent reports on a growth in business confidence in the UK.
"If you are thinking of setting up a business it is really important to carry out research before you start to make sure there is a market for your idea or product.
"Setting up on a part-time basis can be a good way to test the water to see if those business ideas can work on a bigger scale."