Some of Australia's most successful businesswomen are helping mums in small business write their own success story.
High-flyers such as Carolyn Creswell of Carman’s, Bec Derrington of Source Bottle, Sue Ismiel of Nad's and Kelly Baker-Jamieson of Edible Blooms, will donate their time to provide mums with advice about starting and operating their own small business as part of this week's Mummy Mentoring Festival.
The festival, the brainchild of Melbourne-based mumpreneur and founder of Motivating Mum Alli Price, gives mums the chance to talk with one, or more, of the 37 mentors.
"We've got a lot of great women taking part this year -- Carolyn Creswell from Carman's, Emma Welsh from Emma and Tom's juices, Genevieve Quigley, who's the editor of Practical Parenting, and we've even got a clairvoyant, Lynne Rivero," Price told The Huffington Post Australia.
"I want to give mums the opportunities to talk to people that they'd never have the chance to in a million years -- they all have so much great advice to give."
Price, who has two daughters under 10, knows firsthand how difficult it is to be a mum trying to start a business.
After working as marketing manager for a four-star hotel and as a production manager for film and TV, Price decided she’d rather work in a role that helped people, not big business.
“It really wasn’t that fulfilling for me with everyone running around like the world was ending because somebody didn’t have a coffee on set,” Price said.
“I knew I wanted to do something to help people and make a difference and life coaching came around at that time so I trained as a coach.
“When I graduated was the same time I gave birth to my first daughter and then I thought ‘OK, then, I’ll be a coach for mums!”
Price said she thought she did all the right things in setting up her business -- but the clients didn’t come.
“I got my website designed and some business cards done, and I was sitting in my office, on my own, thinking ‘this is a bit depressing and lonely and isolating -- and why isn’t the phone ringing?!’
“So I used my marketing background to organise a networking lunch -- that was in the UK the first one -- and I had 45 mums turn up.
“Then I knew that was where the demand was -- all those mums were like me, working from home on their own, and lonely, as well.”
Bec Derrington, Sue Ismiel and Carolyn Creswell are offering their time as mentors to working mums.
Price now helps scores of working mums through the Motivating Mum website and events such as Mummy Mentoring and ongoing networking and information sessions.
As part of her work with Motivating Mum, Price surveyed 100 mums working in small business to find out what their biggest concerns were.
The study found:
- 40 percent said they were always alone in running their business;
- 70 percent said that they rarely, if at all, received any positive reinforcement or feedback on their performance.
Price said she hoped Motivating Mum helped to alleviate this loneliness, and provided much-needed feedback.
“It’s my business vision to help mums achieve their business dream as smoothly and happily and efficiently as possible,” Price said.
“The happily part comes in getting out of the house and alleviating loneliness.
"With the smoothly and efficiently part, mums starting out don’t even realise that there is support out there; they’re trying to reinvent the wheel and they’re making mistakes, and they don’t have any money to spend on anyone to help them, so they make even more mistakes.
“I want to help mums skip those mistakes and get a little bit further ahead than they would be going it alone.”
To be in the running to win one, or more, of the 79 half-hour sessions on offer during the festival, head to the Motivating Mum website and buy a $4 ticket. All proceeds will go to the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
“You go into the site, choose the mentor you would like a session with and buy a $4 ticket -- that’s like an entry to win a session," Price said.
“They can buy as many tickets as they like if they want to increase the chances of winning a session with their favoured mentor -- and they can also buy as many tickets for as many mentors as they like.”
The winner of each session will be chosen in a random draw.
Tickets for the Mummy Mentoring Festival will be available until November 2 at 10pm with winners announced on the Motivating Mum Facebook page and by email on November 3.