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The rise of the \'5 to 9\'ers\'

Cover of Working 5 to 9 by Emma Jones Over 5 million people are now holding down a day job and building a business at nights and weekends, motivated by a fear of redundancy, the need for extra cash or pure entrepreneurial and creative drive.

Over 5 million people are holding down a day job and building a business at nights and weekends.

Motivated by fear of being made redundant, the need for extra cash or driven by a creative idea, millions of 5 to 9?ers are now operating across the UK in a range of sectors, from fashion to farming, and magic to mobile applications.

The news stems from the publication of a new book, Working 5 to 9 ? how to start a successful business in your spare time, which examines the world of part-time entrepreneurs.

The book is written by Emma Jones, founder of home business website Enterprise Nation (www.enterprisenation.com) and author of Spare Room Start Up: How to start a business from home.

?It was in late 2008 when I spotted a new angle to the businesses we were profiling on Enterprise Nation,? Jones said. ?People were still identifying gaps in the market or turning 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.?

Jones said critically not all 5 to 9?ers are in a hurry to give up the day job. Of the 60 entrepreneurs profiled in her book, 51% confirmed they are planning to go full-time self-employed in the next 12 months, leaving 49% who are not.

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

Gwen Howell, Jones said, is a good example of this double life. By day she dons lipstick and heels as an estate agent, then heads home, pulls on her wellies and sets to work as a rare breed pig farmer.

Students, parents and semi-retirees are also embracing the 5-9 tactic. John Randall studies in normal work hours before turning his attention to his growing bouncy castle company in the evenings, while mum Victoria Dixon runs her picture business by taking advantage of her kids daytime naps and school hours.

Working 5 to 9 ? how to start a successful business in your spare time, features profiles of sixty 5-9ers who all share the story of how they got started and offer tips on topics ranging from time management to financial planning. The book also suggests 50 ideas for businesses you can start on the side, alongside advice on sales, marketing, technology and how to maintain a social life while working day, and night.

Author Emma started her first business aged 27 by working 5 to 9 herself, and successfully sold it within two years of trading. She launched Enterprise Nation in January 2006.

Tabitha Cole, Financial Mail Women's Forum
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