Does Working for Yourself & Parenthood Mix?

Does Working for Yourself & Parenthood Mix?
July 11, 2013 admin

Perhaps it is the transformative and disconcerting effect of having children, or perhaps it is a side effect of living in our unique, diverse neighbourhood, but every new parent I meet seems to have a great, creative idea for a new enterprise.  In many cases they have seen a gap in services for parents, and have a plan for how they might fill it.  Many of them are toying with the idea of stepping away from their previous career to set up their own businesses.

Of course, it is a big step to take even in normal circumstances, but in the midst of the emotional and financial rollercoaster of new parenthood, many might consider it madness.   But there are some arguments for giving it a try:  returning to PAYE work can prove difficult or impossible with employers reluctant or unable to adapt to the needs of new parents.  Many women experience a drop in confidence  after having a child, which puts them off returning to previous roles.  DWP’s New Enterprise Allowance does offer some financial support for entrepreneurs and there are lots of new ways to attract funding particularly for social enterprises.  But most importantly, parents’ enterprise ideas are often inspirational and have potential to improve the lives of babies, children and parents.

It was this (and the wise counsel of Guri Hummelsund from UnLtd) that led me to start the parent-cubator with 10 mums and 1 dad at the Calthorpe Project a couple of months ago.  The group is dynamic, purposeful and aided in its work by an onsite crèche and lots of breastfeeding while it works!  I’m delighted that we might have the opportunity to run future courses after being shortlisted by RBS for their ‘Inspiring Women in Enterprise Award.’  If you haven’t voted yet, please click here to do so.  And if you’re interested in getting involved in the parent-cubator events we’ll be running in the autumn, please get in touch at


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