Multitasking mums have what it takes to make waves in business

A survey has found that 92% of business-owning mums believe having children improves work skills.

Bringing up a baby is inspiring thousands of women to set up their own business, as well as equipping them with the skills to succeed, according to a study out today from Yell.com – the online service from Yellow Pages.

The study, found 40% of mumpreneurs get the idea to start their own business while pregnant, or within a year of their baby being born. In addition, 92% attribute their success to a range of skills developed after becoming a mother.?These include multitasking, planning ahead, a can-do attitude and efficiency.

Yell.com commissioned the study to mark its sponsorship of the ?Inspirational Business Mum of the Year? category at the 2008 Prowess Awards, and worked with renowned psychologist Dr Geoffrey Beattie, to analyse the results.

Joycellyn Akuffo, editor of www.MothersWhoWork.co.uk, and it’s new e-magazine Working Mum, said she was not surprised by the results. “Raising a child – and working at the same time – is no easy job. But millions of working mothers simply get on and do it. It’s unsurprising that these organisational and multi-tasking skills come into play when mums choose to go into business, because it is the life they lead every day.

“Working mums in particular have a huge juggling act – organising childcare, dropping kids to and from childcare or school, and going to work. Mums with school-age children have to be even more organised because they have to fit work commitments around school holidays, and get extra cover if their child is ill.

“We have come into contact with lots of mums who have started out in business because they were looking for a product or service during their pregnancy or maternity leave and were unsuccessful, or felt they could provide a better service than what they came across. They have basically found a gap in the market and have used the time at home with their baby to formulate a successful business.”

Commenting on the research, Dr Geoffrey Beattie, said: ?Pregnancy has a big effect on the body and the brain; it can elevate your mood for significant periods of time.? When people are in an elevated mood state, they are prepared to consider riskier types of initiatives such as launching a business. This can lead to the translation of an initial breakthrough idea into action.?

Joycellyn Akuffo agrees with this: “A lot of mums-to-be start thinking about their options once they find out they are pregnant. For many, flexibility at work is a key driver in the decision not to go back to work. Many mums start looking at possible income drivers so they can work from home and have the work-life balance they need.”

Once mums have taken the big leap to set up their own business, the study found that they perform a remarkable 18 different job roles ? from cook right through to accountant ? during any average week. In monetary terms, respondents estimate that they would have to pay someone else a salary of almost ?50,000 to undertake these tasks.

The research also looked at how the internet is playing a key role in this sector. More than half (51%) of those surveyed feel they can?t do without the internet for the freedom and flexibility to work around family commitments it gives them.

More than a quarter (27%) log on to work after 5pm and 59% of those work between 9pm and midnight. Nearly a third (30%) of businesses formed by mums are wholly internet-based.

Yell.com is now calling for budding mumpreneurs to nominate themselves for an award and follow in the footsteps of last year?s winner Sarah Steele and her national chain of children?s nurseries.

To nominate yourself or a friend, or for general tips and advice on being a business mum go to? www.bizmums.yell.com. Yell offers all businesses a free listing across Yellow Pages, Yell.com and Yellow Pages 118 24 7. For more information visit www.yelldirect.com.

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