The side hustle. It’s been a hot topic this month following a Henley Business School white paper that claims 25% of all UK adults have one. So what exactly is a side hustle? Essentially, it’s any business you run in your free time that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you’re most passionate about – while still keeping your day job. They come in all shapes and sizes and are pursued for all sorts of different reasons. Some will stay side hustles, while others eventually scale to become successful full-time businesses.

The key word is passion

At MarketInvoice, the side hustle concept really excites us because it relates so closely to the things we care about as a business. One of our biggest motivators for making business finance quick and easy is so that entrepreneurs have more time to focus on what they’re really passionate about. When it comes down to it, side hustles are about everyday entrepreneurs making time to pursue their passions. And according to the Henley Business School, that’s a lot of time – up to 50 hours a week on top of their day job. The white paper also showed that side hustlers are making a lot of money, generating income worth £72 billion (3.6% of GDP) last year.

It takes a certain kind of person (and a whole lot of passion) to dedicate as much as 50 hours of your “free time” to something. That’s why it makes us happy to see these kinds of people apply to come work here at MarketInvoice. Of course we consider a range of factors but one of the personal qualities that we look for is excellence. Excellence in their chosen field of work is part of that but we’re also interested in where people are excelling outside of work. The side hustles, side projects and competitive hobbies our team are pursuing when they’re not at the office help create a culture of diverse excellence when they’re here.

Celebrating diverse excellence

Interested to see how MarketInvoice compares to the UK average, we ran an informal poll on of our companywide Slack channels. We found that around 20% of the team have a side hustle, side project or competitive hobby. These ranged from building a mobile app and selling jewellery on ebay to learning a new language and producing electronic music. Some members of the team are engaged in two or more of these, for example running an Airbnb whilst also competing in a national mountain bike championship.

At MarketInvoice, we think having this fulfilled side hustle life actually makes for more engaged and innovative employees. It really feeds into one of our core values: #AlwaysBeLearning. Side hustlers take what they learn when they’re out of the office and apply it to the work they do when they’re here. These are ambitious, entrepreneurial and driven individuals who bring all of that ambition, entrepreneurial thinking and drive to work with them everyday.

Ours is a culture of celebration and support. As a team, we’re always looking for reasons to give someone a shout out and this includes the things they excel at outside of their job. As the business grows, we know that our culture may evolve but this focus on celebrating diverse excellence in our team is something we don’t have any plans to change.