More Mums Choosing to Go It Alone in Business

The number of mothers starting a business has more than doubled in the last 12 months, figures from PeoplePerHour have suggested.

The online freelance marketplace said it had seen a 110 per cent rise in the number of entrepreneurial mothers signing up to the site over the past year. A total of 975 new so-called mumpreneurs registered in the three months to October 2010, compared with 1,971 in the same period this year.

Many women were spurred into self-employment because of prejudice at work for having children and a desire for more flexible working hours, it reported.

The biggest increase in mumpreneurs was in the south east where there was a 29 per cent jump in the last three months, while the south west and the Midlands saw a 13 per cent and 10 per cent increase respectively over the same period.

Jane Hopkins, founder of online mumpreneurs business community MumsClub, said there was "an entire army of skilled, talented women looking to create an income from home".

“Increasing financial pressures on households due to the recession, coupled with the ever spiralling cost of bringing up children, means that fewer women nowadays are prepared to just sit at home.”

“Mothers still face shocking discrimination in the workplace and it’s often not possible to go back to a ‘pre-child’ career because of inflexible working hours, so it’s natural for many women to set up on their own." added Hopkins.

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that the rate of female entrepreneurship in the UK was still "relatively low".

“We know that only around 29 per cent of entrepreneurs in the UK are female, so the numbers are still a long way off from being equal with men.”

said FSB spokeswoman Sara Lee.

“The perception of self-employment is still challenging for many women with children, with childcare issues, lack of time, funding obstacles and worries over financial security all serving as deterrents to going it alone.”

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