If you read our recent post concerning confidence among British freelancers, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s all doom and gloom in the self-employment sector right now.
However, a report published this week by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed suggests that, for a certain part of the freelance community, things are on the up.
We first reported on life as a ‘mumpreneur’ back in December 2015, when we chatted to Lindsey Fish, the founder of Mums Enterprise Ltd and Little Fish Event Management. “Being a mum and running a business is great,” she told us.
“It’s the most free I’ve ever felt in my entire life. If you have a baby and your life is going to change, you may as well go the whole hog and change it all over! It was the perfect time for me to make the change in my professional life as well as in my family life.”
Scroll forward three years and it’s apparent that Lindsey’s bold move was part of a larger trend. According to the IPSE report, the number of freelancing and self-employed mothers in the UK has increased by 50% since 2008. Around 594,000 mums are now operating their own small businesses, meaning that 1 in 7 freelancers are juggling a form of entrepreneurism with raising their kids.
The rapid rise has helped to boost the freelance sector as a whole. 43% of UK freelancers are women, an overall growth of 67% since 2008, and this, in turn, has fuelled a 46% uptick in the number of UK freelancers overall.
IPSE’s head of commercial development, Corinne Stuart, sees it as an invaluable option for many mothers, keen to maintain a career path, find a route back into work after maternity leave, or even – as Lindsey Fish did – start on a whole new chapter in their lives.
Stuart sounded a cautionary note, however, clearly concerned that the government is doing enough to support the freelance community: “As more and more mothers and other women opt for the freedom and flexibility of working for themselves, it is important for the government to recognise how liberating and beneficial self-employment can be, and ensure it remains a viable career path for all.”
For any would-be mumpreneurs out there, Lindsey Fish has some bold advice. “If you’ve got an idea and it scares you, then that’s a really good feeling to have,” she says.
“Just go for it! Go to a few workshops on starting a business, maybe get a mentor – somebody who’s actually been there and done it who can show you the way. There are long hours and it’s not easy, but I’m working from my own passion and I’m really determined to make it a success.”
If you’re a freelancing mum, or you’re interested in becoming one, and you’re looking for advice on how to manage your accounts, feel free to drop us a line at any time. My Accountant Friend is the online accountants with a human face. We’re always up for a chinwag. Click here to get in touch.