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\'5-9\' work brings home the bacon

Cover of  by Emma Jones

By day, Gwen Howell wears a business suit and sensible shoes to carry out her duties as an estate agent, but when she get home she pulls on her wellies to work on her part-time business as a farmer of rare-breed pigs.

Gwen, of Cardeston, Shropshire, is one of many people turning their hobbies into business opportunities in their spare time. She founded Pigs in Clover in March last year and she and her husband put ten saddlebacks on spare land they owned. Now Pigs in Clover has more than 100 pigs of a variety of breeds and sells sausages, ham, pork and bacon to local restaurants and online.

More than five million workers hold down a day job and build a business at night and weekends, according to a new book The Rise of the 5-9'ers. Emma Jones, author of the book and founder of home start-up website Enterprise Nation, says: 'It was late 2008 when I spotted that people were still identifying gaps in the market or tuning a passion, hobby or skill into a way of making a living, yet they were doing so at the end of their normal working day.

'Starting a business while still in employment is the best way to start. It's low cost and low risk and you give yourself time to build confidence and the all-important cash flow.'

But Jones was surprised to learn that, of the '5-9'ers' featured in her book, only 51 per cent planned to turn full time self-employed in the next 12 months.

Jonathan Dowden, 35, a business adviser in Newcastle by day and magician by night, says: 'You get the best of both worlds by being your own boss outside of 9 to 5 and taking home a regular salary.'

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