Everyone is feeling the current economic pinch, and for this reason, we are all looking for extra money on the side to cushion ourselves from the rising costs of living. ‘Side hustle’ is a common term that has increasingly gained popularity in Africa, as many millennials are now looking for a second source of income aside from regular employment. According to a recent report released by GeoPoll, Africans have fully embraced ‘side hustles,’ with the report sampling youths from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania.
According to the report findings, some of the major side hustles include agriculture, entertainment, ICT, online business, logistics, and food and beverage sectors, among others. A total of 37% of young Africans now have side hustles with Nigeria leading the pack at 44.4%, followed by Kenya at 40.8% and South Africa at 30%. There is no doubt that everyone is feeling the pinch – whether you are a new professional or you’ve worked for long, money is never enough these days.
So, do you feel your regular income isn’t enough to cater to all your needs? We’ve compiled a list of 10 side hustles you can think of venturing into. The best part is that you don’t have to invest a lot of cash to set the ball rolling.
Rent Out Spare Room on Airbnb
In recent times, the number of accommodation options has increased as not everyone wants to stay in a hotel. Do you have an extra room or bed in your house that you wouldn’t mind renting out to a guest? If yes, this could be a great venture to earn you a decent income. This also applies to those who have a cottage or extra space within their homes that can be rented out at a fee. Airbnb is a popular renting platform that could be rewarding if well-utilized. Aside from getting extra money on the side, you also get a chance to meet new people from all over the world, and make new friends.
Brigid Prinsloo is a former business consultant and Founder of Superhost SA, who began by renting out her spare room in Cape Town, which she then listed on Airbnb. A month later, her side hustle was thriving and she later went on to launch Superhost South Africa.
“We created the listing by putting our bed in our spare room (which was being utilized as a storeroom after the move). Within a few hours, we received our first enquiries, and within a day, our first booking came. We had to scramble a bit to get everything ready before the first guest arrived, but in the end it all worked out. By the end of that first month, we had earned close to R10 000 by renting out the room. The rent for our entire two-bedroom flat was R10 500 per month. We realized that we could earn a tidy sum by renting out an entire flat.”
Renting out a room or space is now very popular in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, and many other African countries.
The perception of farming has largely changed, especially in recent times. With the recent incorporation of technology and modern trends, farming has quickly become a favorite side hustle for many African youths across the continent. Those keen to making extra money from farming have a variety of fields to choose from. In Kenya, farming is the most popular and top side hustle and for this reason, land leasing, especially near large cities such as Nairobi, is on the increase. Professionals drawn from across the board such as accountants, doctors, lawyers, bankers, Information Technologists, engineers, and fashion designers are keen on agribusiness. Some of the common farming activities include livestock and poultry rearing, as well as crop farming.
Paul Onyango, a career banker, has teamed up with two friends to venture into farming as a side business. The trio rents a five-acre piece of land on the outskirts of Nairobi and plant a variety of crops such as tomatoes, kale, capsicum, cabbage, and traditional vegetables. So far, the venture has worked quite well.
“This is what I now want to focus my energies on even as I work hard to build my career in banking. There is good money in farming and it is worth the investment,” said Onyango, who checks on the farm during the weekends.
Baking and Pastries
Do you love baking? It’s time to think about earning money from this lucrative side income venture, which has transformed the lives of many people across the continent. Events always happen and people celebrate with cakes. The cake business is flexible, and for this reason, many Africans are increasingly choosing baking as a sustainable side hustle option. If you have baking skills and you’re looking for extra income, it’s a definitely a perfect idea to pursue. You can bake cakes for various occasions such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings, as well as other celebrations. The startup capital is relatively low and word-of-mouth, as well as social media, are powerful marketing tools that will cost you nothing. Besides, you can bake in the evenings and over the weekends, so it shouldn’t interfere with your regular job.
South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya are some of the countries that have embraced baking as a side income business. Barbara Amondi is a Kenyan baker, event planner, and a trained research assistant, whose passion for baking inspired her to venture into the business as a side hustle business, and she’s never looked back since then. Her business has grown and she now earns approximately $1,000 net income during a good month. Her initial capital was $12.
“The good thing about the baking business, is that it grows from the referrals from happy clients. Whenever I meet people, I greet them with ‘Hello, I’m Barb, a fine baker and events planner,’” she says.
It is amazing to see how blogging has become so popular these days. Previously associated with the western world, blogging is now a growing trend across Africa. Interestingly, blogging is now a lucrative side hustle, especially to those who’ve figured out a way to earn money from their blogs. Niche blogging is a great idea because it offers useful platforms where advertisers pay to market their products and services.
Nowadays, we have several bloggers across the continent who have excelled in their areas of specialization. Linda Ikeji is a successful Nigerian entertainment blogger whose passion for writing inspired her to think about starting a blog when her modeling career didn’t do so well.It is estimated she earns about $65,000 from her blog per month.
“The journey has been amazing. I didn’t expect to be here today. When I started hustling back then for modeling jobs, the first thing I came across back then was blogging before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram became known and popular. To be honest, when I started my blogging in November 26, 2006, the last thing in my mind was that it is going to change my life as much as it has. It was just a place for me to be creative because I love to write,” says Ikeji.
Blogging has gained momentum in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.
Entertainment is one of the major side hustles that is growing rapidly, and has been quickly embraced across the continent. Nowadays, people working in the industry are handsomely rewarded for their talent, and for this reason, many professionals are opting to take up entertainment as a side hustle. Areas to be explored include becoming an emcee, DJ or comedian. Today, there are many young people across Africa who have quit their jobs to concentrate on the entertainment industry. There are numerous events such as club parties, weddings, birthdays, graduations, and corporate functions that require entertainers. You can make it in entertainment in any African country, but Nigeria and South Africa lead the pack.
Kenyan Ben Waruingi is a bank teller, but he’s a deejay during the weekend. “I started doing this in 2005 for fun. I would go to local clubs, play mixes and return home the following morning without any pay. Things changed when I got married and had a child. I realized that I needed extra income to take good care of my family, so I decided to reinvent myself and go into deejaying professionally. This has been my weekend job for the last 10 years.”
Do you love taking photos? Well, you could turn this hobby into a side hustle to earn extra money. Many youths across the continent have continued to embrace photography as a lucrative side business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or not, venturing into photography can generate you a good amount of cash. Even though it’s considered a saturated niche, the demand for photographers across the continent still remains high as there are plenty of opportunities to be tapped.
There are various photography fields, such as event photography, that you can choose from. Aside from earning extra money, photography is also fun. South African photographer, Abigail Klooper, who started photography as a side hustle, but now does it full-time, agrees it was an excellent choice for her.
Klooper says, “I love the personal development journey that goes along working for yourself – taking daily action towards your goals and watching the story of your success unfold.”
In this day and age when technology and internet use has become widespread, there are people who’ve seen a perfect opportunity to make money. Many individuals and companies across the world now look for online freelancers to work remotely on their projects. In Africa, the number of youths earning money from online freelancing has increased. Common online work opportunities include writing, virtual assistant, social media management, transcribing, and data entry among others.
Considering the availability and flexibility of online jobs, it is a perfect side hustle. Bamidele Onibalusi is a successful Nigerian freelance writer who has managed to earn a good income working for various clients online.
Onibalusi says, “Diversify your online freelancing income streams; don’t rely on one client. Have several clients, and always market and look for some more if your client numbers begin to drastically reduce.”
The trend of working online is currently popular in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Real Estate Brokering
The real estate sector in Africa has grown significantly in recent times. As a result, the number of real estate brokers has increased and, even so, the demand is still high to come up with numerous types of properties. If you love real estate and don’t mind linking clients and real estate owners either for buying or renting house, real estate brokering is a great side hustle to consider. In most parts of the continent, the industry does not have strict regulations for real estate brokers, so anyone can join.
Kenyan Oscar Njoroge is a marketing officer during the week and a real estate broker over the weekend. He offers services that include assisting clients find houses to rent and looking for home and land buyers. He gets commission for all the services offered. In a good month, he earns up to $800 aside from his regular employment income.
“I don’t deal with so much paperwork. I only strive to find clients looking for particular properties and connect them to the property owners. Once the deal is successful and a deposit has been paid, the property owner then pays me a commission.”
Become an Uber Driver
Taxi-hailing apps have changed life, especially for urban dwellers who can now request a cab via their phone and quickly get to the destination of their choice. If you reside in a big city with Uber services available, you can try becoming a part-time Uber driver. To do this, you need to have a car that is Uber-eligible, a valid driver’s license, and car insurance – then, you’re good to go. This is a great side hustle that you can do in the evenings after work or on weekends, especially if your neighborhood has an active nightlife.
So long as you have a clean driving record and no criminal history, you can apply online to become an Uber driver. Hamisi, an accountant based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, also works as an Uber driver when he’s not on duty to get extra money to cater to his needs.
He says, “Initially, my job pay was sufficient, but I am now married with two kids, so I had to look for a side job that could enable me to earn extra money. Since I love cars and driving, I decided to convert my car to an Uber taxi. I do numerous trips, especially in the evenings and over the weekend. It is challenging, but at least I get decent money to add to my income.”
Parents are taking extra steps to ensure their kids perform well in school. The demand for afterschool and holiday tutoring has increased across the continent, providing an avenue for interested persons to earn a side income. If you’re a teacher, you can take on private tutoring lessons with different students outside normal school hours to raise extra money. However, you don’t need to be a teacher to do tutoring. Anyone can tutor so long as you have a special skill that you use to mentor others.
The demand for tutoring services has continued to increase with the introduction of online tutoring classes. Nowadays, you can tutor students online from across the world and earn a decent side income. Ulwazi, a teacher in Johannesburg, also works part-time as an online English tutor during her free time.
She states, “As a teacher, the internet has availed a perfect opportunity for me to tutor students abroad and earn extra money. For me, it’s the best decision I ever took as I have managed to increase my students in a very short period of time.”