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Would You Start a Business if You Had More Support?

24 March 2010 2 Comments

Nearly half of all British mums (47%) are actually considering starting their own business, but do not know where to start, according to a new survey.  74% would do so if they had someone to guide them through the process of setting up a business. According to the survey commissioned by Phoenix Trading, three quarters (76%) of mothers who are not currently working for themselves would do so if they had the chance.

The survey findings show that mumsare desperate to find a work/life balance that satisfies both their drive to succeed in the workplace, and their desire to nurture their family.  British mothers are searching for the elusive middle ground between ‘power woman’ and ‘caring mum’.

  • 62% of British mothers say a lack of confidence keeps them away from the workplace
  • 48% of mothers feel envious when they hear success stories of other working mums
  • Seven out of ten mums cited affordable childcare as a major barrier for not returning to work
  • Three in four mothers feel a lack of flexible working conditions is a key factor in their decision to stay at home

The research, , looked into what could be deterring mums from returning to the workplace.  Missing out on time with the kids is cited as the most common reason for not working by 39% of mums in the UK.

Mothers cite lack of confidence (62%) and skills (37%) as reasons keeping them from returning to business.

When asked why women are the largest under-represented group participating in business women cited the following reasons:

  • lack of flexible working conditions (74%);
  • the absence of affordable childcare (70%);
  • the hours required to work (76%);
  • funding from banks (48%);
  • domestic commitments (67%);
  • sexism (37%)
  • government red tape (16%)

Mother of two, Robin Bradley, found an alternative to the stresses of the rat race as she set up her own company, Phoenix Trading, 15 years ago.  “Setting up Phoenix Trading allowed me to spend as much time with my children as I wanted, allowing me to generate an income, have flexible hours and have all the perks of a working life.  Setting up your own business can seem daunting, which is why we provide lots of support for those who want to set themselves up as Independent Phoenix Traders, but aren’t sure how to go about it,” says Robin.  “I hope that they can find the work/life balance that every mother aspires to discover!”

Iveta Tancheva, mother of one and founder of the social network Mums Like You, left her successful career in the City to launch the Mums Like You network.  Iveta comments: “Returning to work after becoming a mother was a particularly difficult decision.  The lack of affordable childcare and flexible jobs means that many mums need to start their own businesses as a way to balance family and work, and we see much evidence of this on Mums Like You where we have a large community of mum entrepreneurs.  Phoenix Trading’s survey clearly shows how important support and networking opportunities are in helping mums return to work”.

Additional statistics include:

–       50% want to be able to drop work commitments if their kids need them

–       Only 22% cite working part time as an ideal work/life balance

78% of mums would prefer to work from home, only 22% prefer an office

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