Laid-off Workers Start Side Hustles, Why Not Entrepreneurship?

An unemployed stagehand is suddenly an e-commerce mogul, peddling hard-to-find items such as toilet paper and home fitness equipment. A laid-off personal vacation adviser may have found her true calling — teaching English online to students around the globe. A recruiter is paying the bills as she awaits her unemployment benefit checks by day-trading stocks.

With the coronavirus pandemic throwing tens of millions of Americans out of work or reducing their hours, many are scrambling to make ends meet by taking on part-time jobs and other side hustles, launching new ventures, or playing the market – often from the safety of their homes.

The phenomenon isn’t captured by the Labor Department’s employment data because of the overall devastation wrought by the virus. In April, a record 20.5 million U.S. jobs were wiped out, and Labor’s May jobs report Friday is projected to record another eight million layoffs, driving the unemployment rate near 20%, highest since the Great Depression.

But some private surveys are picking up the trend of laid-off people snagging part-time work and side hustles. Sixty-four percent of Americans age 24 and older who lost a job or had their hours reduced have landed, or plan to seek, a side hustle, according to a TD Ameritrade survey conducted April 24-May 4. And 54% of all adults are planning a side gig, according to a mid-April survey by, a personal finance site.

FlexJobs — which advertises work-at-home, part-time and temporary jobs – has seen a 50% jump in traffic on its site compared to a year ago, says CEO Sara Sutton.

“There has been a surge of this in the past few months that is definitely attributable to the number of people being laid off,” Sutton says.

Normally, big job losses trigger massive searches for full-time jobs, but this crisis has been anything but normal. With much of the economy shut down, there have been relatively few jobs available. Many unemployed people aren’t looking for traditional positions because they fear they’ll catch the virus, says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, the job posting site.

The COVID-19 crisis March 2020 has caused massive unemployment, and a “New Normal” will be slow to form and have eliminated millions of jobs.  Nothing offers a more promising solution to individuals than starting a small business using lean startup entrepreneurship. By using a passion, an interest, or acquired trade, people can learn entrepreneurship by validating a viable concept using customer development.  “Lean” enables anyone with desire to design a successful business model that can be scaled and repeated.

More than 40 million people have filed for unemployment in the past three months, and the U. S is predicted to experience  a coronavirus-induced recession through 2021.  Then, working in an office could become a status symbol, most meetings could be replaced by email, business travel as we know it could be gone, office building may become “elaborate conference centers”, mandatory on-the-job medical screening could become the norm, middle management positions could be cut forever, 9-to-5 office hourse a thing of the past, and automation accelerated.

The need for large scale training of “lean” entrepreneurship is now enormous.  ERI, Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc., an educational non-profit has dedicated itself to lean launch training and the spread of entrepreneurship currency.  See and for more.

1st 8 paragraphs courtesy of USA Today

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