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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Mums mean business

Ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday, we celebrate four 'mumpreneurs' who have started fashion-related businesses
The Straits Times - May 10, 2013
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Mums mean business

The arrival of a child can turn one's life upside down. To some new mums, these changes will lead them to relook their working arrangements.

This, in turn, can set them thinking about starting their own ventures.

Meet the "mumpreneurs", a growing brigade of enterprising mums who leave their jobs to set up home businesses once they have kids.

There are no official figures here, but according to StartUp Britain, a private group that supports entrepreneurs in Britain, 60 per cent of small businesses in the country are started in homes. A growing number of those are being launched by women who leave the workforce to spend more time with their children.

Last year, a survey by British banking and financial institution Barclays found that 34 per cent of new businesses are headed by women.

Out of this, 300,000 of them, or 33 per cent, are mums with home set-ups.In Singapore, about 100 such businesses are listed on the Mums@Work (Singapore) site. They include multi-label online toy stores as well as party-planning companies.

Founded in 2009, the social enterprise portal is part of a global mumpreneur network, which aims to help mothers find the perfect balance between being a mum and working.

Ms Eva Karayiannis, 47, a former lawyer, says her decision to start a family prompted her to launch her own business.

"I was working long hours as a lawyer and when my first child was four, I decided to leave my job. It is important to me to just be around," she tells Urban.

The Briton is the owner and designer of popular kidswear label Caramel Baby & Child, which she set up in London in 1999, three years after her second child was born.

Ms Dorothy Loh, 37, who started nursing wear label Dote in 2008, when she was pregnant with her first child, points out: "It's not that you have more time with them, but that you can be more flexible with your time."

The mother of three, who used to work as a bank executive, adds: "When you're working long hours for a company, you are bound to lose out on certain precious moments in your kids' childhood."

rohai@sph.com.sg

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