We Discover The Challenges And Joys Faced By Mums In Business
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We chat with Mums & Co co-founder Carrie Kwan about a new study on Australian Mums In Business....
Why did you commission the Mums & Co Australian Mums in Business Report report?
Mums in business are a vital but often overlooked part of our economy. More needs to be done to support her. Mums & Co is a business mum’s online village and we are here to help her thrive. We commissioned the Australian Mums In Business Report because we wanted to know her better, really understand her needs, so that we can support and help her more effectively.
Which results surprised you most from the study?
I was inspired by how brave and resourceful these women are - more than half have businesses in a completely new field to what they were doing before. Most mums experience a sense of mummy guilt so I found it very surprising that the majority of business mums do not agree that they feel guilty that they have less time to spend with their children. In fact, an overwhelming 87 percent believe they are setting a good example for their kids. Four in five believe they are a happier person as a result of starting their own businesses.
Do you believe the number will rise for Australian mums in business?
In one word – yes. Women are facing workplace inflexibility (nearly half surveyed started their own business as working for someone else was not viable), unequal pay and increasing childcare costs. The OECD’s recent report into gender shows women are still lagging behind in pay due to women’s disproportionate responsibility to provide unpaid caregiving, combined with the cost of childcare. At the same time, the gig economy (part time/ contract work) is growing and technology now makes it easier than ever before to launch a business. These findings indicate that Australian mums in business are taking back control of what’s important to them. So we believe the number of mums in business is set to rise in the near future.
Can you describe the ‘typical’ Australian mum in business today?
The average mum in business has two kids and is likely to be educated. Half of all business mums are between 30 and 39 years old. Most are in relationships but one in ten are single parents. Nearly a third are born overseas. She’s taking back control of what’s important to her and she’s happier for it. She is brave and has that Aussie spirit of having a go. Going into business means leaving security behind and stepping into the unknown, and it’s even more daunting when it’s not just yourself you are looking after. A third started their businesses while on parental leave, one in 10 started their businesses while pregnant. And one in five have more than one business.
What challenges do these working mums have? How does Mums & Co help them overcome these challenges?
The journey is not always easy - almost 50% feel being a mum has acted as a barrier to their business success and 50% also found starting a business very challenging. Our report found more and more are now turning to social media and networking groups to get the support they need. Mums & Co is created specifically for the needs of mums in business so everything we do is geared towards helping them succeed and building a community of mothers in similar circumstances. We believe we are stronger together. Together we have the strength of community, better negotiating power and a pool of knowledge to draw on. Our platform and events are a supportive, inclusive and safe space to make community connections. You don’t need to be afraid to ask other business mums for advice and support, because chances are, someone has already been there and done that.
For women who are already are in business, the report found that they need more help with knowledge about finances, marketing and setting up businesses correctly. Our knowledge sharing platform publishes quality articles to help with this gap, whereas Mums & Co perks and concierge partners give access to cheaper or free marketing services, legal and business set up products and services. Our simple business insurance package can also provide cover to protect your business.
Support with childcare is an obvious challenge. A majority have the support of a partner in looking after the kids (60%), while four in ten call on family members, and business mums also heavily rely on schools and childcare centres. Our access to Emergency Childcare helps provide last minute options when you need it most.
Love the sound of joining a supportive and connected network of mums in business? Join Mums & Co today, membership is free and gives you access to a great range of perks, services and events mumsandco.com.au