Women seize opportunities
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.’’