cottage industry



cottage industry (plural cottage industries)

  1. A job or occupation carried out at home or on a part-time basis.
    A craft such as quilting may be pursued as a hobby or as a cottage industry.
  2. A small-scale industry, with relatively few employees or a limited customer base or low economic impact.
    • 1996, Amy Cortese, "Computer Associates: Sexy? No. Profitable? You Bet," BusinessWeek, 11 Nov. (retrieved 18 July 2010):
      Customers quickly sensed the change when CA took over a company: The new owners vigorously enforced license agreements, often in the courts. A cottage industry soon sprang up to advise companies on how to negotiate with CA.
    • 2008, Barbara Kiviat, "The Big Trouble In Small Loans," Time, 5 June:
      Microfinance, once a relative cottage industry championed by antipoverty activists and development wonks, is on the verge of a revolution, with billions of dollars from big banks, private-equity shops and pension funds pouring in.


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