Hello if you follow me on Facebook you will be well aware of my recent postings and conversations about a feature on Daybreak (the new GMTV). They have featured 5 ‘Mumprenuers’ on their site however all 5 are inventors and it doesn’t, in my opinion reflect the work of ‘mumprenuers’ in the UK. Spurred on by Facebook conversations I sent them an email here is my email, and forgive me but I tried to cram as much about me, my businesses and mumprenuers as I could without it being too long, and their reply. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My name is Joanne Dewberry, I’m 29 years old from rural Dorset, living with my partner and our 2 children Charlie 3 and Megan 2. I started my first business ‘Charlie Moo’s’ with £56.65, when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter and my son was 15 months old. I’m proud of everything I have achieved in the last two years, including be named Dorset Business Mum of the Year 2010. But I’m nothing special I have just worked hard to provide for my children whilst still being a full time mum. As a ‘mumprenuer’ myself I was saddened to read the featured profiles on ‘Daybreak’ website today. All 5 profiles, and I know a few of them so this complaint is in no way a dig at their hard work and determination, are ‘mumprenuers’ who have invented baby products. Is this really the way that ‘Daybreak’ has decided to portray ‘mumprenuers’?? My other business, ‘Networking Mummies’, co-owned with Laura Morris provides networking, training, support and advice to mums in business. We have 3 branches in Dorset, Hampshire and Warwick catering to over 500 mums in businesses and I’m struggling to think of ONE mum involved that invented a baby product.
Does this mean that the hard work, determination and money put into the economy by mums running websites, baby & toddler classes, business services, health and beauty, retail owners, photographers … aren’t ‘mumprenuers’??? Self-employment/business is an option that is do-able for many (although not all) mums, to enable them to have work flexibility, avoid huge childcare costs and still be a full time mum. As inspiring as inventor mums are, inventing a baby product would feel out of reach to most – (including myself) they would feel they don’t have the capital, time or skills to do this. For most mums, offering a service on a freelance basis or starting an online shop is much easier, cheaper and less risky to set up, for example. Being a VA (virtual assistant), bookkeeper, dog walker etc. however this possibly isn’t as sexy and media-friendly as being an inventor!?
I’m saddened most that your feature appears to have totally missed the whole point of what mumprenuers are and what businesses they do run. It would have been a much better feature to have showcased mums in 5 different areas of business not just inventors, who all have similar stories, saw a gap or need for a product and invented it. I’m so passionate about mumprenuers/mums in business even meeting my local MP recently along with 4 other members of Networking Mummies ensuring that he was aware of what mums in business/mumprenuers were all about, we’ve moved on a bit from tupperware parties.
What about business mums who have started their business on the back of post-natal depression, who have used starting their own business as a way to break through the depression and give themselves a purpose and focus to strive towards. Or business mums who have laughed in the face of the recession and moved to larger shop premises, opened more baby and toddler classes, taken on staff … do these mums not deserve the recognition?
It is such a shame that you have decided not to feature a variety of mums. I feel that this should be bought to your attention.
I will be posting this email on my business blog www.joannedewberry.co.uk and encouraging mums in business/mumprenuers to comment after I receive a reply from yourselves. I will also post your reply on my blog too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email.
Good Morning Joanne,
Thank you for your detailed feedback on our item ‘mum-preneurs’. We appreciate you contacting us and your suggestion about opening this feature up to include a wider variety of businesses has been noted and passed on.
We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.
Daybreak and Lorraine