Mumpreneurs require better funded Government support to succeed in business

4th November 2014

Self-employed mothers are looking for more Government aid to drive their businesses forward, according to an entrepreneurship expert from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).
 
Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show a 34 per cent increase in the number of self-employed women in the UK since 2009, but Dr Julia Rouse of MMU believes this figure clouds the fact many female entrepreneurs are unlikely to turn a profit until they receive adequate Government support regarding maternity and childcare.
 
According to Dr Rouse, female entrepreneurs make up just a third of the UK’s self-employed population; the equivalent of 1.4 million and the most popular self-employed occupations for females include child-minding, cleaning, caring and hairdressing – the majority of which earn less than £10,000-a-year.
 
Rouse believes the rise in female self-employment merely reflects the disproportionate impact of the recession on women’s full-time employment opportunities, particularly in the public sector.
 
Improved Government support and better targeted policies would provide the right working conditions to support ambitious women, particularly mothers, to launch profitable, long-lasting businesses.
 
“To date, enterprise policy has not been well integrated with childcare and maternity policies, which simply don’t meet the needs of women wanting to launch a business,” said Rouse.
 
“The failure of successive Governments to understand the strength of the maternity and childcare barrier to enterprise means that a great deal of female entrepreneurial potential is being wasted.
 
“Many mothers are discouraged from starting businesses and constrained in the businesses they do start.”
 
Ms Rouse believes female entrepreneurs require better funded childcare support when they start a new business, as tax breaks mean very little if they are failing to turn a profit.
 
The addition of childcare support would also be a ‘great investment’ for established businesses which struggle to grow while women are ‘tied to their local area and part-time working due to the school run’.

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