The following is a post by Angela Hicks, Chief Executive, North Somerset Enterprise Agency:
Female entrepreneurship in the UK is on the rise and we are definitely seeing that trend here also in North Somerset.
Whilst being your own boss, gaining greater job satisfaction, achieving greater independence, self worth and increasing self confidence are some of the popular reasons cited by women for being self-employed. A survey of women entrepreneurs conducted by YouGov also found that 61 per cent chose to work from home and 52 per cent wanted to achieve a better work-life balance.
For mothers in particular, who are often torn between having to earn a living, raise and spend time with their children and find a job they enjoy, self-employment can offer a real solution.
Many women want an enjoyable and financially-rewarding career, but still need to be at the school gates in the morning and afternoon, want to spend quality time with their children and have flexibility to fit around their children being ill for example.
Here at NSEA we offer free, impartial and confidential advice and information, low-cost training on a wide range of practical business subjects and the support of an experienced, knowledgeable and locally-based team of advisors. We work hard to support those mums who are stressed by balancing employment and childcare by providing help and encouragement to explore the options.
Remember that coming along to see us costs nothing and we can talk over ideas and explore avenues. Running your own business needs very careful consideration especially when you have dependents, but our business advisors will help with this. We also run free start-up courses to help people who are thinking about starting in business to learn more about what it’s really like and what will be involved. Then, if it’s an option that a client wants to take forward we’ll help every step of the way.
We know that mums need flexibility so we have a business advisor who can visit them at home if necessary. We start our training courses at 9.30 a.m. to allow for school runs etc and have no problems with mums or dads having to leave at 3.00 p.m. if that suits their needs.
We also run evening networking events through our North Somerset Business Club but can also put women in touch with daytime networking events where they can share experiences and swop ideas with other mums who are business owners.
The female entrepreneur survey also found that nine out of ten women who had started a business said they would be likely to do it all over again and 75 per cent felt their work family life balance was better than when they were employees.
So to conclude:
Mums are used to juggling many different tasks and that’s just what you need to do when running a business. We work with mums who run print and design companies, business service organisations, shops, hairdressers and all sorts of other enterprises.For some, self-employment and running your own business does achieve a better work life balance. However I would urge any mum planning to launch a business to get advice and support even before they start out. It can make all the difference as to whether you have a business that really works for you and your family.
Interested? Contact us here to find out more.