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Stay-at-home mum businesses

Stay at home mum. Image: Getty
With the average age of new mothers now somewhere around 30, most of them will have been working full-time for possibly up to 15 years. It's no wonder there's a new demographic in the business world: mumpreneurs, they're called.

After years on the go in their working lives, mums are putting their mental efforts into new businesses, mainly selling online. HOTmilk, a Tauranga lingerie company, was started by a woman who couldn't find any nice nursing bras. The lingerie now sells in 35 countries and is endorsed by Playboy playmate Kendra Wilkinson and singer Jennifer Hudson. While the company is having great success now, they put it on the line and ran at a loss for the first year. So having a hubby and friend helping doesn't hurt.

The "mumpreneur" appears, from the outside, to be a comfortable middle-class arrangement — those with the time on their hands and the means to not have to worry about the rent or mortgage. What about solo mums or parents in lower socio-economic circumstances? Maybe the government could initiate a new subsidy for mothers on a benefit, to encourage them to start their own business if they have a sound idea and plan.

European countries with high tax rates have fabulous parental leave and maternity policies. But everyone in the country who works pays for it. That's one option for New Zealand — higher taxes. Another option could be to reduce benefits for stay-at-home parents but make day care cheap for parents who return to work. Would that encourage mothers with inspiration to start a business or would they just end up back working for "the man"?

One thing's for sure is being a stay-at-home or working mother these days is not easy. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't as far as public opinion goes.

RELATED: Mumpreneurs: launching into the business world

User comments
I am 23 and a solo mum of a 3 year old and I have my own business in the main CBD of Rotorua. I am not prepared to sit around making ends meet on the DPB instead i created an opportunity for mine and my sons future! But yes the government has a very bad system to help out people like me, there is absolutely no assistance.. an enterprise allowance is for beneficiaries in small business verging bankruptcy, i get no extra assistance on childcare than mums who send there children to daycare and do nothing in their day, banks will not assist you because your income from the government is to low and i am forced to draw a wage on any profits therefore unable to save and increase business assets, helping me to move off the DPB and be financially independent. However I am still better off than i was and i know i will have a positive financial future.
Men and making incredibly stupid comments certainly do mix it seems
Women and business do not mix.

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