Guest post by Lindsey Fish, Founder of @MumsEnterprise & Mum to Molly
The term ‘mumpreneur’ has been thrown around a lot over the past few years. Some love the designation, others hate it, but no matter how you categorise mums in business — you simply cannot ignore the positive impact they are having on the UK economy.
The 1.5 million UK-based mumpreneurs, myself included, collectively generated £7.2 billion in 2016. By 2025 the ‘Mum-Economy’ is set to be worth £9.5 billion to the UK and will create 13,000 extra jobs. Here’s how being a mum on a mission led me to help other mums launch theirs.
The light-bulb moment
There are challenges to running any business, but often mums have it particularly tough. Many choose to become self-employed or start a business because they need to bring in an income that works within their busy schedule. The 9-5 is just not made for mums. Personally I have no idea how mums who do work full-time during office hours manage it. Hats off to them.
Before I became a mother, I had a corporate city job. I was a marketing manager for a city tech company and I enjoyed it. But when Molly was born in 2013 I then faced the conundrum about what to do about work after maternity leave. After doing the sums, there was no way I could return to my city job. So like more than a million other mums across the UK, I started thinking about the alternatives.
In 2014, I launched a corporate events agency where I organised conferences and exhibitions for other companies. It was a year into that business I had my light bulb moment. Events are my thing. After struggling with what to do after maternity leave, I imagined the same would be true for those whose kids were now old enough to go to school.
The birth of Mums Enterprise Roadshow
My business is Mums Enterprise Ltd, which would organise the Mums Enterprise Roadshow. The idea for my business was for it to be everything you’d expect from your typical work or business show, comprehensive in content and professionally organised, but with obvious differences. Like being child-friendly, held in regions across the UK in venues easily-accessible for mums, and each day would center around the challenges mums face whether they were starting-up, growing a business or just looking for help.
Most importantly, I wanted an informal, unstuffy, and inspirational event geared towards helping mums actually take action. I wanted to arm women with the contacts, know-how and tools they needed so they could go on to make a change in their lives.
With a little help from a friend
After 17 years working for other organisations, I felt that my whole story had been leading me up to this point. I had the event, marketing and sales experience to actually make this idea a reality. I knew I could do it. But all this needed something extra, and that is where my business partner Lucy Chaplin came in. She is our Creative Director, creating and managing everything to do with our brand.
After planning our first two events in 2015 and delivering them in June 2016, we’ve learned plenty of lessons and are now planning three events for 2017. Looking forward, we hope to increase the number of events year-on-year and eventually reach mums in every corner of the UK. Our mission is to help change the work and business lives of mums for the better, but we are not doing this alone. We’re joined by so many other amazing organisations and individuals who share our mission.
Same goes for the mind-set of mums across the UK and the world. There is a movement happening right now, finally it’s OK to admit that juggling childcare with work or your business is tough. That yes, you may have lost confidence after taking a few years out looking after the kids. It’s a world where it’s okay to be you, to be honest about your feelings, and to admit that everything isn’t perfect. It’s this open mindset that has created an audience who need events just like the Mums Enterprise Roadshow.
Join other like-minded mums at the next Mums Enterprise Roadshow at AMEX Stadium in Brighton on Thursday 23rd February. It’s free to attend, simply pre-register here.