‘Mumpreneurs’ generate £7bn for the UK economy

A new report from economic think tank Development Economics, commissioned by eBay, has evaluated the contribution of “mumpreneurs” to the UK, and found that the sector is growing at an unprecedented rate.

The Telegraph reports that enterprising women increased their economic “value added” to the UK economy by 30 per cent between 2011 and 2014, boosting the number of jobs supported by their businesses by 23 per cent during that period.

By 2025, the report claims that the mum economy will generate £9.5bn for the UK and support an extra 13,000 employees, taking the total jobs created by mumpreneurs to 217,600.

These figures have been reached using data from the Office for National Statistics, the report said.

The most popular business sectors for entrepreneurial mothers range from retail to entertainment to management consultancy to care home management.
“Improved connectivity and growing digital literacy is enabling ambitious, business-minded mums, to realise and pursue successful enterprises,” said Sarah Calcott, chief operating officer of eBay.

“These entrepreneurial businesswomen are building impressive companies, creating both wealth and jobs while also fulfilling one of the most demanding roles of all – being a mum.”

eBay is keen to champion the successes of mumpreneurs as thousands of UK mum-led businesses started life as eBay shops on the online marketplace.

Julia Rockett, mother of four and founder of Boho Mama Boutique, started her business on eBay in 2013, selling maternity clothes and ladies fashions.

“One of the biggest benefits of starting up Boho Mama Boutique has been the flexibility it has afforded me, both as a parent and businesswoman,” she said. “Unlike my old office job where I was pinned to my desk from 9am to 5pm, I can organise my life around the specific demands of that day.”

The success of UK mumpreneurs appears to outpace the sector’s growth in other nations.

According to a new report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, while more women around the world are interested in becoming entrepreneurs than ever before, the number of women who turn aspiration into reality is still low.

Women are more than four times more likely to express entrepreneurial intentions than to become entrepreneurs, the report found.

Mumpreneurs in the UK leverage new technologies to juggle running a business with a family, and many run online stores or work remotely. Globally, however, just 35 per cent of women use the internet to sell products and services, compared to 48 per cent of men.

According to the GEM report, which focused solely on entrepreneurs aged 18-35, companies run by men are also twice as likely to provide jobs for more than five people, compared to those run by women.

The labels used to characterise female entrepreneurs – from mumpreneur to fempreneur to “lipstick entrepreneur”- have proved controversial among businesswomen.

The recent “Shattering Stereotypes” report from the Centre for Entrepreneurs found that many women dislike being described as entrepreneurs at all.

“The mere existence and continued use of feminised descriptions of entrepreneurship fuels the perception that entrepreneurial activity is a largely male preserve,” the report stated.

“Instead, many of the women surveyed preferred terms such as “founder” or “business owner.”