Women seize op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Advertiser - Careers - - Working Mums -

MA­TER­NITY leave can be a great time for moth­ers to be­come mumpreneurs and slowly de­velop and launch a busi­ness idea.

Spe­cial­ist ca­reer coach Kathryn Hock­ing says the mumpreneur sec­tor – fe­male en­trepreneurs who start up their busi­ness at home while rais­ing a fam­ily – is one of the strong­est grow­ing in the busi­ness world.

Hock­ing, di­rec­tor of Reverie Coach­ing, says in­ter­na­tional re­search re­veals 15 per cent of mums have started their own busi­ness and an­other 10 per cent are plan­ning to be­come a mumpreneur.

She says one of the ben­e­fits of start­ing a busi­ness while on ma­ter­nity leave is it can be done slowly, with a cou­ple of hours a day of plan­ning or build­ing a web­site, be­cause there of­ten is no im­me­di­ate need to re­place an in­come.

‘‘ I re­mem­ber my first six months of ma­ter­nity leave as a time of sleep de­pri­va­tion, ad­just­ment and lots of cud­dles and bond­ing with my daugh­ter Ava,’’ she says.

‘‘ I took 12 months off but six months in, I felt like I needed some­thing more than just go­ing shop­ping, mums group and end­lessly com­par­ing my daugh­ter’s sleep­ing and feed­ing habits to other ba­bies on on­line fo­rums.

‘‘ I re­turned to work af­ter 12 months and within an­other six months had de­cided to start my own busi­ness.’’

Mumpreneur busi­nesses have been in­spired by gaps in the mar­ket for ma­ter­nity, baby or chil­dren’s goods, such as nappy bags; baby health is­sues, in­clud­ing teething pain; or mums us­ing their ex­ist­ing pro­fes­sional skills to run a busi­ness from home.

She says there is a down­side – run­ning a busi­ness while on ma­ter­nity leave can bring ex­tra pres­sure to an al­ready chal­leng­ing time of adapt­ing to life as a mum and deal­ing with sleep de­pri­va­tion.

‘‘ It can also mean you miss out on valu­able bond­ing time with your child,’’ Hock­ing says.

‘‘ Based on this, I would rec­om­mend hold­ing off build­ing your busi­ness un­til your baby is at least three months old.’’

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