Mumtrepreneurs inspired into business by a campaign to save Hampstead nursery
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 April 2012
Â© Nigel Sutton email email@example.com
Two mums who spearheaded a campaign to save Hampstead's famous Peggy Jay nursery have used their parental know-how to launch a business.
Sarah Wuttke, 37, and Naomi Bloomstein, 38, were inspired to set up LittleBird, an online company which sells group deals to families, after realising the untapped potential of mothers who want a job they can juggle with looking after their children.
Mum-of-two Mrs Bloomstein, of Hillfield Road, West Hampstead, said: “I was very inspired by the campaign, there would be 30 of us women sitting in a circle holding meetings and strategising.
“That sense of community was what led us to the idea of setting up a community business.”
Mrs Wuttke, who lives with her husband, two-year-old son Zac and six-year-old daughter Amelie in Sutton Road, Muswell Hill, said: “We were really interested in the idea of local community.
“We started off with a different idea to build a social network to bridge different local communities, but realised it was a huge project that was difficult to make profitable.
“So we morphed it into our website, which provides a service to families by saving them money, but also gives parents ideas about what to do with your children.”
The pair are part of the growing legion of ‘mumtrepreneurs’ – women who chose to set up their own businesses so they have more freedom to juggle work and childcare.
They gave up careers in TV production and website design to launch their business, allowing them to break out of the rigid timetable of long office hours which prevents so many working parents from spending time with their children.
Instead, they have taken their knowledge of motherhood to the boardroom, selling cut price family trips and other deals on their website.
Launched a year ago, the business now employs more than 100 LittleBird ambassadors, many of whom are also mothers, who scout out bargains while working flexible hours.
“It is for those women who don’t want to go back and do the same work they were doing before they had kids, but wanted to do something stimulating and engaging, that they can do while caring for their children,” explains Mrs Bloomstein.
They are part of a formidable growing market of mum-owned businesses which bring £4.4billion to the UK economy each year, according to research by Yell and the London School of Economics.
And the trend is likely to grow.
According to a recent survey conducted by the website workingmums.co.uk, 69 per cent of 2,100 mothers interviewed said they had considered setting up their own business or franchise – up six per cent on last year.
For Mrs Wuttke, the benefits are compelling.
“We both liked the idea of opening our own company that we could fit around our family lives,” she said.
“We are more understanding to kids crying in the background when we are taking a business call, or having to leave the office to pick them up from school.”