It is no longer news that the economic situation of the country is on the down side, leading to the increasing need for extra sources of income.
As a means of surviving the situation, many Nigerians have resorted to various side hustles, otherwise known as side gigs, and formally, side jobs; ranging from online to offline businesses. These businesses therefore serve as a fallback, when the primary source of income becomes insufficient.
However, many side hustlers maintain these side businesses as a result of low income rate, increasing poverty rate, the strife to be financially independent, amongst other reasons. Be it as it may, the need to supplement primary sources of income becomes increasingly important; especially amongst but not restricted to 9-5 workers, students, and the underemployed.
Following a research carried out by business.ng and premiumtimesng in 2021, it was revealed that about 70% of Nigerians have side hustles; and about 27.9% of Nigerians living in poverty, earn between ₦100,000 and ₦200,000 per annum. This estimate proves the importance of having an extra source of income, which can only be possible through side hustles.
Moreover, it is evident that the increasing inflation rate, which has risen to about 22.04%, contributes to the insufficiency of money earned by most primary earners. In this case, saving becomes a difficult task, as workers are left with very little or nothing, after catering for primary expenditures.
Financial freedom has remained a constant phrase used by many to describe (financial) independence. Just as Nigeria is currently independent of the colonial masters, Nigerians desire to be independent of constant financial assistance. To say the least, every Nigerian desires the ability to comfortably afford more than the basic life amenities. As a result, even while the unemployed search for available job opportunities, the employed search for additional opportunities. This is the point where side hustles become even more important.
As the world goes global, side hustles are no longer restricted to physical or offline businesses. The existence of such businesses as dropshipping, affiliate marketing, freelancing, social media management, graphics designing, content creation, digital marketing, photo/video editing, amongst others; make it even easier to combine the primary source of income with side hustles.
In addition, physical/offline side hustles like sale of thrift wares, rental services, make up art, fashion and design, cleaning services, amongst others, also serve the need of being financially free.
Judging from the idea of financial freedom as the desire of most, if not every Nigerian, a single stream of income for the average or below average Nigerian, makes it uneasy to attain financial freedom at its peak. It is therefore not unsafe to say that side hustles are the escape routes to financial freedom.