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Are you a self employed successful mother?

Research by Netmums has uncovered that almost half of mothers who return to work part-time after having children are forced to take lower-skilled jobs.  With the Government announcing plans for this year’s Budget to include tax breaks of up to £900 a year for parents who set up their own business, it seems setting up on your own could be a good move for new mothers.

Sisters, Emma and Deborah Barnett set up their own luxury family travel company in 2002, both giving up lucrative careers to enter the world of self-employment.

Emma, 37, lives with her partner and three children, Madeline, six, Eleanor, four and Hannah, ten months. After working for one of the UK’s leading marketing alliances, she left to set up luxury family holidays specialist – Essential Escapes in 2002 and Tots Too in 2007. In 2005, after becoming a mum she realised just how challenging it could be going on holiday once you were a parent. Her new quest would be to find the best spa resorts with second-to-none facilities for kids. Today Tots Too is a well-established and respected travel company with a loyal client base, and turnover of £3million.

With recent statistics showing that women make up 46% of the workforce in the UK, but only 26% of the self-employed workforce, success stories such as Emma’s show that self-employment is a viable option for many women out there with families. Emma says: “Self-employment can be a really good option for new mothers as it allows them to tailor their working hours around their children, not only can this save a family a lot of money in childcare, but it also means parents can spend time with their children during this vital stage of development. As the Netmums study shows, on some occasions women are forced to take up roles they may be over-qualified for, just because they are trying to do the right thing by their children.

“Setting up a business as a new mother certainly is a lot of work, but it gives me the flexibility to arrange my working day around my children, for example, working into the evening so I am around for dinner time. As a mother myself, it is very important to me that Tots Too employees are given the chance to progress in their careers, whilst also spending quality time with their children. I think it’s great that rather than expressing distress at the lack of family-friendly jobs, more women are now being offered the resources and help to create their own.”

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