Many people who work full-time to fund their favourite hobby often end up trying to turn that hobby into a business itself.
According to research from Barclays Business, one in six small to medium-sized businesses are formed by those trying to combine their hobby with a business idea.
When Aaron Darke completed his zoology degree for example, it was expected that he would enter a career involving animals.
Instead the graduate united a passion for foraging with scientific experimentation, leading to a hobby making mead (an ancient drink where honey rather than sugar is used in the fermenting process).
“I’d been brought up to forage and Aberystwyth University, where I was studying, was a great place to go foraging.
“My love of science got me interested in the reactions that happen when you make home brew because what student doesn’t like a bit of beer on the cheap? I got hold of a recipe for mead and gave it a go and then got really into it.”
This hobby quickly turned into a business idea and he is now in his second year of brewing, after winning a £10,000 prize in a start-up funding competition set up by Carnegie Trust UK.
In many cases the source of a new business is frustration within a hobby. Hannah Myers found this to be the case when she grew increasingly annoyed at the lack of women’s clothing in the mountain biking world.
At the time there was a choice of men’s clothing which didn’t fit the female form properly, or women’s clothing that was covered in pink, girly designs.
“I knew I could do better and so with the support of my university’s entrepreneurship hub, The Hive, I got together with a fabric and manufacturing expert to help turn my designs into a range.”
For students, the idea of leaving a secure job where monthly pay is guaranteed can be daunting. The advice most graduate entrepreneurs offer? Save hard and go for it.
Phil Cottle, creator of Cult Screens (a pop-up cinema company) says his biggest tip is to go for it, but to keep a close eye on your overheads as they can build up very easily.