Does the term mumpreneur imply a little hobby on the side, something a yummy mummy does until she goes back to her real job? or is it a useful way to acknowledge the very different experience of work that some women choose (or need to do) when they have children?
I was lucky enough to be debating this with some of the most successful mumpreneurs in London when I was invited recently to Benihana’s who hosted a group of us in their beautiful Chelsea restaurant (just jump on the number 19 bus to discover it for yourself!)
Our charming host, Dieter, clearly recognised the collective power of the blogging community to raise his profile and attract new families to enjoy the food, served by chefs at your table who cook, perform daring tricks and have a delightful banter to accompany the show. Â Since being wined and dined, this economic powerhouse of 30 business women have spread the word of the restaurant to many thousands of readers as well as forming a plethora of new collaborations between themselves. Â The organiser, Laura, mumpreneur and founder of London Baby can feel very proud of that success.
So why do some of us still feel uncomfortable about the label mumpreneur? Â The root of the problem of course is that the other work we do (usually taking the lion’s share of child care and housework) is undervalued. Â And the fact that many of us are earning a good deal less than we would if we didn’t have kids does not help how we feel about ourselves or how others see us. Â Women who choose to remain in work full time equally face the judgement of themselves and others as to whether they are being good enough mums (dads are rarely asked whether they work part time are they?)
If we valued the juggling act mums do, mumpreneurs would be a prized species! Â Clair Palmer-Paulino is a classic mumpreneur: founder ofÂ Giving Tree – a pre-loved re-loved children’s clothes resale business for local parents; looking after her two under 5 year olds and childminding part time Â – Â she’s a great example of a business woman who is shaping her career to balance the needs of her family and creating an enterprise which provides a fantastic service for her local community.
Some commentators argue that we need a living wage for mothers and other carers – if you think the same, sign this petition on line. Â I agree, but doubt that the change to our tax system necessary to make it happen is a realistic proposition. Â In the mean time, my solution is that we all work on valuing the role of parents; support each other to deal with the stresses (along with the joy) it can generate and explore our potential to throw a bit of entrpreneurship in to our already busy lives!
To join in with the Bloomsbury mumpreneur scene, why not come along to our event on Tuesday 8 October where Uju Asika of Mothers & Shakers will be explaining the power of social media for start ups.
If you want to explore the world of London mumpreneurs (and find out more about our night at Benihana), take a look at these great sites:
Disclosure â€“ I was treated to dinner by Benihana but the views on the food and experience andÂ recommendationÂ are my own.