7:41 AM, November 30, 2023

Women on maternity leave are fuelling a rise in female start-ups

| The European |

21% increase in female start-ups over the past five years, among the 31-40 age group

Women wanting to take the next stage of their career into their own hands while on maternity leave is fuelling a rise in female start-ups, according to new data.

Figures show a 21% increase in female sole trader and limited company registrations over the past five years among the 31-40 age group, as they reassess their working future during time away from the workplace, according to new data from The Accountancy Partnership.

Female entrepreneurs cited the flexibility offered in choosing their working hours (36%), the freedom of being their own boss (31%), and reducing stress while improving their quality of life (22%) as motivations for making the switch.

The Age of Entrepreneurialism study also revealed women aged 31- 40 are the most enterprising age group, making up more than a third (38%) of female sole trader and limited company registrations in the past 12 months. This age data also correlates with the average maternal age in England and Wales now being 30.7 years old.

Tabby Hamill, Accounts Semi-Senior at The Accountancy Partnership said: “Becoming a parent can alter your perspective on the world and cause you to reprioritise what is important. Being an employee can often mean less flexibility to balance childcare and other commitments and responsibilities in life. Therefore, it is common that a mother may reconsider her career path during her time away from the workplace.

“While starting your own company can be daunting for anyone there are a number of resources, networks and communities out there to help all types of new business owners, and starting your own company doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.

“However, the gender split of new entrepreneurs is far from balanced: men still account for over 71% of new business registrations, but it is encouraging to see mothers spearheading the enterprising movement among women. We must do all we can to redress the balance and ensure that everyone wanting to start their own business has an equal opportunity to do so.”

This mother took her career into her own hands

Graphic designer, Kiemia Farrow, set up her own business last year to give herself greater control of her work, life and parent balance.

Working as a part-time employee had left her feeling inadequate in the workplace. She was always playing catch up with her full-time colleagues, which was having a profoundly negative effect on her mental health.

A year on from leaving the luxuries of annual leave, sick pay and a reliable pay cheque, Kiemia has grown her business to 13 new clients despite the pressures of the pandemic.

Speaking about taking the plunge into building her own business, Kiemia said: “I love having the freedom to be my own boss, plan my own schedule, take time off when I need, be the best mum I can be, but most importantly, I no longer feeling discriminated for working part-time hours.

“Traditional employment can be difficult for mothers, especially those with young children, as it does not provide the flexibility that having a child demands. Working for myself has solved so many of the issues I was facing before, and I would encourage any mothers struggling to balance being a parent with their career to consider taking their careers into their own hands.

“I am so much braver than I ever was before. Sometimes in life, when things do not go the way you want them to go, it isn’t so bad as long as you can pick yourself up and look to the future, and that’s exactly what I am doing!”

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