They say that being a mum is the hardest job in the world, but many an Aussie mumpreneur is proving they’re not afraid to throw running a business into that mix as well – and the results are benefiting many more than just themselves.
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, home-based businesses are one of the fastest growing segments in Australian business, and mothers of young children are up to three times more likely to be self employed than other working women – and the impact of mumpreneurs is not just local. In the UK, research by eBay shows that the mum-led economy will be worth £9.5bn by 2025, supporting over 217,000 jobs.
So when mums are undoubtedly one of the busiest people in society, some without even enough time to shower let alone start a company, what’s driving this explosion of home-based businesses?
Given that the best business ideas often come out of a need – the obvious question becomes who is better to understand the needs of others than a mum? Mums are a special kind of superwoman who know best, which is why they also make brilliant businesswomen. But not just the result of a flurry of good ideas, the rise of mums going into business for themselves is often also the result of an inability to get back into what is often an inflexible corporate workplace. Despite this being a less than ideal situation for women who are not only capable, but who are very willing to work, the lack of opportunity for mums to re-enter the workplace is one of the reasons that mother-led businesses are thriving.
Often focusing on a niche or specialized product that answers a problem they have faced themselves, trade events become an avenue for mums in business to showcase their products, and that negates the need for the traditional sales force often historically associated with procuring stockists.
Only very recently a group of highly motivated, inspirational businesswomen who also happen to be mothers, showcased their products at the Sydney Life Instyle / Kids Instyle event, and many of the products on display are those born from very real Aussie mum needs.
In a sharp contrast to those mothers struggling to find their way back into the workplace, Minnow Design toddler beach shoes were created as much to prevent the two mums behind the business from going back to corporate work as they were to protect tiny feet from the rocks and hot sand of Australian beaches. The two busy mums – with 6 kids between them – realized that they had an incredible skill set between them, but also that neither of them had a desire to return to the corporate world. Combining their desire to work for themselves with the ongoing issue they faced at the beach with their babies, Minnow Designs was born.
Similarly, Play Pouch is the result of a frustrated mum tired of constantly trying to carry everything she needed for active outdoor kids. Born from the tried and tested method of using a bed sheet as a play mat to pull toys together in one fell swoop, Play Pouch was recently shortlisted at the Innovation Pitchfest in Hong Kong.
And The Beach Skirt was created after its designer realised that no clothing available could actually be worn in and out of the water, then to the shops, or lunch, and back again – for both mums and kids.
These women and their businesses are not only solving real problems faced by mums, but they are also part of a growing group that is significantly contributing to the economic landscape.