Mums in Business: Fastest Growing Sector But It’s a Lonely World

With a continued rise in childcare costs and increased pressure on the family unit, an ever growing number of mums are ditching the stresses of a 9-5 job and starting their own business.

In Australia, women own 585,000 of the 1.9 million small businesses making it the fastest growing sector in the Australian economy. More than 45% of women run their businesses from home (a 20% increase in the last five years).

Owning and running their own business gives mums the flexibility to be there for the kids, as well as have more independence, focus and drive. However, running a business also comes with its own unique challenges including loneliness, isolation and potentially, depression.

In a recent survey of mumpreneurs (Motivating Mum 2015), almost 40% of mums admitted that they were nearly or always alone. A staggering 70% of respondents stated that they rarely, if at all, received any positive reinforcement or feedback on their performance.

Faced with this unique situation (often for the first time in their lives) coupled with having a new baby or toddler can put mums in a position where they are susceptible to depression.

Justine Alter from Transitioning Well who partner with mums working alone in their businesses says: “With the rise of ‘Mumpreneurs’, it is critical to not only maximize the benefits that come with these new work norms, but also ensure that the social connection of the traditional workplace is not lost. Research shows that for those who work from home, loneliness is on the increase with a link to psychological and physical ill health. Culturally, we need to be addressing these factors by providing much needed support.”

It is for this reason that one of Australia’s leading networking groups for mums in business – Motivating Mum has its annual Brilliant Biz Mum Awards. Founder, Alli Price, was determined that mums get the recognition they deserved and needed.

Alli recalls: “I remember when I first started out. I had a newborn and a fledgling business and had gone from travelling and working in Hospitality to being alone – a lot. It was a very lonely and difficult time and I had no one to give me feedback and tell me I was doing a good job.”

“I developed the Awards to celebrate and showcase the outstanding hard work, determination and achievements of many mums in business across the country. The best part is that the Awards are all judged (and shun the trend towards social media voting) ensuring mums know they have won based on merit,” Alli added.

“Feedback I have received on ensuring the Awards are judged by a panel of their peers is that it gives these women increased confidence and is a great morale booster,” said Alli.

The Motivating Mum Brilliant Biz Mum Awards are made up of 12 categories each representing particular areas of business including product innovation, social media, best juggling, best community-minded mum, branding, marketing and more.

Twelve amazing mums in business will be announced as the best in their field at the Brilliant Biz Mum Awards night which will be held on Saturday 9th May 5-9pm at Melbourne City Mission in South Melbourne. The award ceremony will follow on from a Biz Mum Expo featuring amazing speakers, workshops and networking opportunities.