eBay reveals £7bn mum economy
The value of the UK mum-economy was £7billion in 2014 and supported over 200,000 jobs according to independent researchers Development Economics who used Government data (Office for National Statistics)
By 2025, increased opportunity and flexibility for mums in business will add an extra £2billion and 13,000 jobs to the economy.
These businesses range from micro-businesses run by mums at home while looking after young children, through to multi-million pound operations like Thingimijigs, which started with just an eBay account, £200 and a kitchen table and now sells branded gifts and accessories for kids globally from a purpose built facility in Lancashire.
The eBay commissioned study, conducted by independent economists Development Economics, also reveals that the value of the mum-economy is increasing each year, and is set to increase even further in the future:
- The number of jobs supported by mum-run businesses has grown 23% since 2011
- Their value to the economy has increased 30% over this period
By 2025, increased opportunity and flexibility for mums in business, will:
- Add an extra £2 billion to the economy, taking the annual mum-economy to £9.5 billion
- And support an extra 13,000 jobs, taking the total employed by mum-run businesses to 217,600
Sarah Calcott, eBay UK COO says: “Improved connectivity and growing digital literacy is enabling ambitious, business-minded mums, to realise and pursue successful enterprises. These entrepreneurial businesswomen are building impressive companies, creating both wealth and jobs whilst also fulfilling one of the most demanding roles of all – being a mum“.
Sarah added: “I’m enormously proud of the role that a marketplace like eBay is playing by providing the infrastructure and resources for mums to strike a successful and effective balance between business and family life.”
Start up tips from one mumpreneur to another
1. Start simple.
Starting a business is daunting but don’t be afraid to dip your toes in the water. I started off by creating an eBay account to sell things I owned. From there I invested and reinvested to develop product lines and the business as a whole, sidestepping the initial investments that can burden start-ups. Remember, you may be working from your spare bedroom, garage or a lock-up – but the customer does not know that.
2. Plan your day.
Mothers are multi-tasking maestros but you can’t do everything. I sit down every Sunday to prioritise for the week, using a To-Do list and when I can focus on the business, the kids, or myself. Often for me, the business runs around the kids’ school (and social!) schedule, meaning I might not work 9-5, it might include when they are at school or in bed.
Whether you have a website, a shop or operate on an online marketplace, social media is a great forum to develop your brand and develop relationships with your customers. I think of my online pages as shop windows – they need to grab attention and bring customers in. – Also use the business forums to get helps, tips and advice – Think of sites like Tamebay.com as colleagues there to help, just not in the same office as you.
4. Build a network.
The great thing about social media is that you can talk to your audience, wherever in the world they may be. I log on to Facebook and Twitter after the kids go to bed to talk to my customers, answer their queries and market the business.
5. Take some time to yourself.
Being a businessperson and a mother is hectic, so don’t forget to take some time to yourself. During the first 18 months this is really tough and there are always things to do. To avoid burn out, plan time to relax and take your mind off things. I like to swim…