Craft marketplace Etsy recently released a new report called Building an Etsy Economy: The New Face of Creative Entrepreneurship.
The report is based on a survey of 4000 Etsy sellers. The key findings include:
The vast majority of Etsy sellers, 86%, are women. This is much higher share of women ownership than either employer businesses (about 33% women owned) or independent workers (about 50% are women). According to the report the sellers also skew young with many below the age of 35.
Most Etsy shops are real businesses. Most sellers (76%) call their Etsy shop a business and 9 out of 10 say they are planning on increasing their sales. While only 30% report it's their full-time job, almost all consider their Etsy earnings to be an important source of income.
Key quote from the report:
For 30% of Etsy sellers, their creative business—both on and off Etsy—is their sole occupation. For the rest, their creative business supplements other jobs, contributing an average of 15% to total household income overall. This money makes a difference—44% use this income for necessary household expenses.
Etsy is a great example of how the Internet and online marketplaces are making it easier to create new businesses. It's also allowing people to pursue their creative passions while providing income.
This report also comes at a good time.
With Uber and the on-demand economy getting so much attention, it's important to remember that the on-demand economy is a small segment of the overall independent worker sector.
The Etsy report nicely reminds us that independent work and micro businesses continue to thrive and expand outside of the on-demand economy.