The harsh economic climate has led many mums into thinking about setting up their own businesses or franchises. Here, Workingmums.co.uk takes a look at a new start up kit designed to help fledgling businesses.
Mums at the the helm
Many working mums are seeking a different way of balancing their work-life commitments and have turned to the idea of franchising or establishing their own businesses as a way to reach this goal.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation and author of the Start Up Book, said: ''We are seeing people take redundancy and use this as the motivation to go self-employed. Other people are keeping hold of the day job and building a business at night and weekends.
''This will be a good year for enterprise in the UK as many more people decide to take control of their working life and turn a passion, hobby or skill into a way of making a living.''
The number of women in franchising has increased for a number of years - 28% of all franchisees are female compared to 24% five years ago.
The rate at which women are taking up franchising has also increased over recent years. Last year's figures showed that 39% of all franchisees who had started in the last two years were female.
Mums are particularly interested in part-time franchises, home-based franchises and flexible franchises to fit in around their families.
Start Up Kit
Small business publisher Brightword Publishing has launched a Start Up Kit aimed at helping anyone resolving to become their own boss.
The kit retails at £25 and comes complete with a 200 page guide on how to start a business, plus over £400 of offers from leading brands including Google, Barclays, Blackberry and MOO.COM.
The box set offers the tools, tips and techniques required to get started and keep growing. The 200 page book offers advice on company registration, making sales, embraching technology and keeping customers happy, and has stories of successful start-ups and their tips.
The kit contains a set of free MOO.COM business cards, 200 business leads from Experian, discount from Paypal, £25 credit when you open a Barclays business current account and £30 worth of Google adwords. It also contains one month free line rental from BlackBerry and O2, discount on a website from Powa, access to professional business lounges, free 60 day trial of an online meeting tool, two months free listing on Bitsy, as well as professional imagery from iStockphoto and discounts on HP products and accessories.
Rory O'Neill, senior director of business marketing, EMEA at RIM, said: ''In starting a business, individuals don't only need drive and financial backing, but also the tools and technology to support their venture. Having the ability to communicate in a responsive and timely manner from anywhere enables fledging businesses to stand out from their competitors. It's for this reason BlackBerry is involved with the start up kit.
''Helping new businesses get off the ground is something BlackBerry feels passionately about. Through the use of smartphone devices and supporting applications, young businesses have access to the tools that can further aid their growth and development.''
The Start Up Kit is can be obtained from book stores, online at Amazone and small business sites, including www.enterprisenation.com.
Myles Hunt, of publishers Harriman House, said: ''Whether you're a student wanting to build a business in between lectures or a new mum wishing for a way of work that offers more flexibility, this kit will guide you on a journey from idea to fully fledged business.''