The rise of the 'mumpreneur': Why educated women are quitting their jobs and starting their own businesses – and raking in millions
There are now more than 300,000 business owner mothers in Australia
Four in five women say they are a happier as a result of starting their business
Mum-of-two, Kimmy Smith, said flexibility was a driver in creating her company
The number of Australian mothers running businesses is reaching new heights, according to a recent report.
Research commissioned by Mums & Co, a business mums network, revealed there are now more than 300,000 business owner mothers (representing one sixth of all small businesses) who provide income for over half a million Australians.
Carrie Kwan, co-founder of Mums & Co, said this figure will continue to increase, with four in five women admitting they are a happier person as a result of starting their own business.
'Women face increasing childcare costs, workplace inflexibility, unequal pay and at the same time, the gig economy is growing and technology makes it easier than ever before to launch a business,' said Ms Kwan.
'They now want to take back control of what's important to them. Nearly half started their own business as working for someone else was not viable.
'While most mums experience a sense of 'mummy guilt', interestingly the majority of business mums do not agree,' she added.
Ms Kwan said nearly half of women with businesses started their own company because working for someone else was not viable
'In fact, an overwhelming 87 per cent believe they are setting a good example for their kids.'
One of those mums is former professional netballer and lawyer Kimmy Smith.
Mrs Smith, 35, started her business, Fit Mummy Project, in August 2016.
As a mother-of-two daughters, Allegra and Samara, she said flexibility was a huge driver.
'Whilst there has been some positive changes to workplaces supporting new mums in their return to work, it is still an extremely challenging time and mums can often feel like they are letting down both sides of the equation (both their family and their colleagues) trying to juggle motherhood and career,' she told FEMAIL.
'I created my business online because I wanted the flexibility to work when and where I could.
'I wanted the flexibility to be able to work on something I was passionate about, but still fulfil the role of primary career,' she added.
'It has definitely been tough, most days I feel like I am doing two jobs at once, but it is also very rewarding.'
Mrs Smith said while many Australian mothers were launching their own businesses to be more hands-on with their children in the early years, taking a leap into the 'mumpreneur' market was not without its challenges.
'This year I launched the Fit Mummy Project App and that was a big initial outlay. It was very confronting to have to commit that much money financially into a project,' she said.
'I am lucky that my husband has been very supportive and has been willing to invest in this business to help it to flourish.'
Ms Kwan agreed that access to money was a blockade for many mums keen on starting their own company.
'The report shows that financial concerns – costs associated with setup and access to capital – as well as not knowing the fundamentals of business are major barriers stopping those who want to start a business,' she said.
'More of them are turning to social media and networking groups to get the support they need – for community connections as well as information and talent sourcing.'
TOP TIPS FOR MUMS IN BUSINESS
* Research what other similar businesses do – what models and tactics they have used
* When it comes to marketing, don't put all your eggs in one basket, and where you can, it is worthwhile to invest in experts in the area (SEO and digital marketing)
* Join a community of other like-minded mums. Don’t be afraid to ask other business mums for advice and support
* Work out a good time management plan to keep you (and your team) on track
* Where possible, use Facetime or Skype for meetings to save commute time
Source: Carrie Kwan, Mums & Co
By Sheree Mutton For Daily Mail Australia
PUBLISHED: 05:10 BST, 1 November 2017 | UPDATED: 22:39 BST, 5 December 2017