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Dancers, podcasts and OnlyFans: How Covid-19 popularised the side hustle

Platforms like Patreon, OnlyFans, and Substack have seen an explosion in sign ups. But do users actually manage to turn a profit?

By Clara Hernanz-Lizarraga  

Back in March, stay-at-home orders changed businesses overnight. Pubs, clubs and restaurants were condemned to gather dust for months, but other industries quickly transitioned by taking their business online. “It was the shortest board meeting ever,” recalls Bonnie Lister Parsons of the resultant office meeting.

Parsons is CEO of School of SOS, a company with a mission to “empower a whole generation of women” through dance. Her studio, Seen…

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