The Courier-Mail

Record number of mums starting small businesses

- LANAI SCARR

MORE women are starting their own businesses than ever before, consolidat­ing the rise of the Australian “mumpreneur”.

They live in bigger houses, have more time with their children and report a higher level of satisfacti­on with their lives.

The Courier-Mail can exclusivel­y reveal the first comprehens­ive snapshot into Australian women in small business which shows that over the past two decades the number of femalerun small businesses has grown by almost 50 per cent. The growth rate is almost double that of men starting their own enterprise­s over the same period.

Of the 668,670 women now operating a small business in Australia, a total of 47 per cent had dependent children living in their household – part of a new breed of entreprene­urs starting their own businesses after the birth of their kids to gain greater work/home flexibilit­y.

The groundbrea­king study was commission­ed by the Office for Women and compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Women represent one-third of all small business owners in Australia, up three percentage points from 1994. However, earning potential for most female small business owners is low compared with their male counterpar­ts, with women bringing in half the income male small business owners do.

Interestin­gly, more female small business owners live in a large house of four bedrooms or more – and own it – compared to women in traditiona­lly employed jobs.

But while they may be successful and appear to “have it all”, mumpreneur­s fail to plan for their future, neglecting to pay superannua­tion and other benefits.

Former teacher Laura Furiosi has a successful business that is expected to turn over close to $500,000 next year.

“I didn’t want to go back to work and miss out on being with my children, but I got a little bored at home so that’s when we came up with the idea for the business,” the mother-of-three said.

Ms Furiosi started her Rashoodz Swimwear line seven years ago after being perpetuall­y frustrated by her eldest daughter pulling off and losing her hat every time they went to the beach.

Now her swimwear is stocked in every state and territory as well as stores in Japan and the UK.

“We’re hoping to make an entrance into the US market next year, too,” Ms Furiosi said.

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