Posted on 03.02.2017
‘Parentrepreneurs’ will contribute more than £9.5bn to the UK’s coffers by 2025 – and the following resourceful mums and dads are set to be among them.
Keen to spend time with their growing families, parents are launching some of the most creative, resourceful businesses around.
According to a report by think tank Development Economics, homegrown businesses contribute £7.2bn a year to the nation’s coffers – and this sum will increase to £9.5bn by 2025.
Parentrepreneurs are not new, of course. In 1976, Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop as a way of supporting her children while her husband was working overseas. The likes of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison’s clothing line for mums and babies, children’s nutrition writer Annabel Karmel and Justine Roberts’ Mumsnet have followed in Roddick’s wake.
For most, the impetus for their business was linked to their experiences of parenthood, and a desire for a work-home balance. Nichola Phillips, senior lecturer in business and law at Leicester’s De Montfort University, says satisfaction levels among ‘mumpreneurs’ are often high despite the unsociable hours they have to put in to launch a business. “Often self-fulfilment is a key goal. They want a more sustainable way of combining work and parenthood and may pursue work that’s more satisfying or meaningful, to themselves and others,” says Phillips.
Tracey Blake, founder Student Nannies
As a national newspaper journalist, Blake needed to make flexible arrangements for childcare. “In 2015, I began to struggle,’ she says. “My student nanny had left, and I tried lots of childcare websites to find someone to look after my daughter for four and a half hours on a Wednesday, but no one responded.”
Realising nothing met her needs, Blake set up Student Nannies to link local students to other parents who require ad-hoc carers. From its base in London, the website has grown to other UK cities.
- Key advice: “Don’t spend lots of money. Start small and look at expansion when you know your idea has legs. Find out whether it’s a proven model in the first year – they call it bootstrapping.”