In 2015 I had a really busy year.
I left my career in the finance industry, I moved my work life back to Wales, I had a baby AND I launched a business.
That first year of business and motherhood was tough. I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere. The networking scene was not set up for me, early morning meetings are not for the sleep-deprived. The courses and workshops I was invited to participate in meant getting a day of childcare that I just couldn't afford.
I kept hearing about all this help that was available if you wanted to start a business but, no one seemed to be helping me at all.
As my business grew I forced myself into the entrepreneurial scene locally. I documented my business journey online and heard from tons of women who struggled with the exact same things as me. For years I took their problems and my own to any meeting, event or committee but no one seemed to want to help.
In 2018 I decided to do something myself, and after a lot of research, I launched an online course to help mums start their own businesses. To date over 200 women have taken that course. Mums have started earning money because of it as they have put themselves out into the freelance market. Businesses have started because of it and hundreds of women have been signposted to help and support in their local area.
I've asked big organisations to adopt this practice and make it easier for mums to get themselves into business and also grow their brilliant businesses but again nothing got done.
I realised this year that I could continue getting annoying, feeling irritated and screaming about what isn't being done OR I could do something about it.
In mid-2019 I launched Business Mother Club to change the way we speak to mums about business.
I launched a child-friendly networking meeting in June 2019 to see if there was an appetite for an idea I had for a networking meeting with a workshop element to facilitate learning.
We now have meetings in 5 different venues across South East and Mid Wales
I'm crowdfunding to get Business Mother Club to reach more women across Wales in 2020 and beyond.
The plan is pretty simple.
I'm going to revamp the start-up course to make sure it's up to date for 2020 and create a list of up to date, easy to read resources that direct people to help in there local area. Much of the help and support available and communicated seems to be based on who you manage to speak to in any organisations. This isn't good enough. It should be readily and easily available and it will be with Business Mother Club.
I will use funds to adapt our website so that the course can be sited there and allow participants to log into the course modules securely from their phones if needs be.
This course will be FREE for any mum looking to start a business.
If you live anywhere outside of the M4 corridor you will know how annoying it is to see a great event, know it would be amazing for you and then see it is way out of your area and impossible for you to get to.
That's got to stop.
I'm going to use this funding to start 6 extra Business Mother Club meetings. these meetings will be dividing geographically across Wales so that we have meetings in North, Mid, West and South Wales and people know that there is something within travelling distance for them to attend.
I will also use some of the funds to train up local networking co-ordinators to take on the meetings outside of my local area.
Their local knowledge and local base will be invaluable and by hosting the meeting I will make sure that they receive over 50% of the price of each ticket, meaning they gain some valuable income for their time.
We need some basic equipment for our networking meetings and I will use some of this funding to ensure each of the networking coordinators that come on board have their own kit so that kids can play, mums can network and learn and everyone is happy.
It's a simple plan
But it could change everything for mums who want to start businesses here in Wales and hopefully this is something we can roll out to a wider audience in years to come.
If you can give anything at all, please do and know that every penny will be used to make this simple plan, swoop into action in 2020.