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Sidepreneurship vs. Entrepreneurship

At Blaze Group, we strive to uplift Black women and leaders within entrepreneurial ecosystems. In this edition of our LinkedIn newsletter, we delve into the contrasting worlds of sidepreneurship and full-time entrepreneurship, exploring why Black women might choose one path over the other when considering paths forward. Take a look at the stories behind the numbers as we draw insights from our 2023 State of Black Women-Owned Businesses Report®.

At an aggregate level, 55% of all Black women entrepreneurs are full-time entrepreneurs and the remaining 45% are sidepreneurs. A sidepreneur works a regular job as an employee, but also hustles night shifts or on the weekends to realize her dream of business ownership. This approach to entrepreneurship reduces the financial risk of the venture. However, it is no easy feat and makes it hard for one to fully focus on their full-time job and/or side venture.

Our research discovered intriguing patterns between household income, business revenues, and overall time commitment in entrepreneurship. Full-time entrepreneurship is quite popular for Black women even when household income is moderate, with as many as 73.3% of entrepreneurs living in households with income between $0-$49,999 being full-time entrepreneurs. Full-time entrepreneurship was more common across all household income brackets, with the exemption of the $50,000-$99,000 range where sidepreneurs represented 63% of the cohort.

Entrepreneurship is a multifaceted journey, and many Black women entrepreneurs have additional responsibilities outside their businesses. When considering the impact of other responsibilities, such as supporting children or loved ones outside of their homes, the decision between sidepreneurship and full-time entrepreneurship becomes even more nuanced. For those with additional responsibilities, sidepreneurship presents a lower-risk strategy that allows women to work at their own pace and schedule while still providing financial stability through other income sources.

When considering stand-alone business revenue (rather than combined household revenue), we notice that full-time entrepreneurship tends to be more prevalent after entrepreneurs have made at least $4,999 in revenue per year. 56% of Black entrepreneurs women surveyed reported being sidepreneurs (Figure 2). This is understandable, as there are likely more signs from the market that the venture is viable and has the potential to scale once a meaningful level of sales has been generated.

As the adage goes, time is money. This phrase resonates deeply when considering the stories of sidepreneurs and full-time entrepreneurs. For some, sidepreneurship has offered the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurial passions while maintaining stability and responsibilities in other areas of life (i.e., family, full-time jobs, etc.). Sidepreneurs showcase adaptability, efficiently managing their time to propel their businesses forward while mitigating risks. On the other hand, full-time entrepreneurs fully commit their time and resources to their ventures, nurturing their businesses with undivided attention. This allows for added capacity for mentorship, A/B testing at a granular level with clarity, and more.

At Blaze Group, we recognize that Black women entrepreneurs face unique challenges and balancing acts in their personal and professional lives. We understand the importance of considering factors such as income levels, responsibilities, and risk tolerance when making entrepreneurial choices. To help you navigate this rewarding yet challenging journey, we offer a few tips:

  1. Educate yourself: Dive deep into the entrepreneurial world, attend workshops, and participate in programs designed for entrepreneurs. Empower yourself with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions.

  2. Build a robust support system: Surround yourself with mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and supportive networks. These connections will inspire, guide, and uplift you during both the triumphs and trials.

  3. Embrace continuous learning: Stay updated on industry trends, seek professional development opportunities, and explore new skills that can enhance your business acumen.

  4. Develop a solid business plan: Craft a comprehensive business plan that maps out your goals, strategies, target audience, and financial projections. This roadmap will guide your entrepreneurial journey and help you navigate potential challenges.

In conclusion, the data reveals that time is indeed money, showcasing the potential financial gains and risks associated with each path. When considering other responsibilities and the holistic income picture, we have a more nuanced understanding of the entrepreneurial journey for Black women. We encourage you to delve deeper into our insights by reading the complete report. 

To download our annual research report, visit


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