Mums get down to business
May 23, 2007 12:00am
MEET the amazing mumpreneurs. They're successfully mixing bubs and business, and they're the driving force behind thousands of new companies created each year.
Victorian mums are turning their backs on the 9-to-5 grind in favour of doing business in their bathrobes, and many are turning hobbies or interests into cash.
More than one million Australians work from home and half of them are mothers, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Women run 126,000 small businesses -- a third in Victoria.
Many are online and popular areas include baby and maternity clothes, jewellery making, children's parties and children's gifts.
Many are going solo after successful careers in public relations, financial planning and accounting.
Two mums who set up small businesses are now helping other mums get started through website mumsinbusiness.net.
Sharon Wood, who set up aromatherapy range Healing Hippo, and Alison Basson, who founded baby sign language Tinytalk, will present a "Mums in Business" seminar in Melbourne next month.
Ms Basson said time was the biggest enemy of mums setting up their own businesses.
"Everything takes a lot longer than you think and you always have a lot less time than plan for," she said.
"We'd encourage mums to seek out information to help them with financial plans and budgets."
Ms Basson, 35, mother of Ellie, 3, said many mums started businesses because of the lack of part time work.
"It's hard because most women still have to work because of financial reasons, or just to keep their brain active.
"People are wanting that control and flexibility to give them time with their children."
Karen Houghton, of the Australian Business Women's Network, said having children challenged many women to reassess their working life.
"It's about lifestyle choices, not about turning over $12 million in the first year," Ms Houghton said.
But she said it wasn't always easy for women to turn their hobbies into successful businesses.
"It's about what you are good at and where you've come from -- it's about what you can actually do," Ms Houghton said.