Mumpreneur of the Year 2014: Could it be you?

Are you an entrepreneurial mum? Find out if your start-up has got what it takes to impress industry experts and win this esteemed Startups Awards category…

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Ryan Platt

Why have we got a Mumpreneur of the Year category?

Despite the myriad time-consuming challenges that motherhood poses, time and time again mums have proven to be some of the most creative and successful entrepreneurs around. Armed with an unparalleled insight into the challenges and joys of being a parent, ‘mumpreneurs’ have been responsible for some truly ground-breaking businesses, including Ultimo, the world-famous lingerie brand founded by Michelle Mone, former Young Gun Holly Tucker, founder of notonthehighstreet.com, and perhaps the UK’s most well-known mumpreneur success story, Startups Awards partner Mumsnet’s founders.

Our 2012 category winner Turtle Tots is an excellent example of a great mumpreneur-founded business. Started by busy mums Caroline Sparks and Gabrielle Lixton, the business quickly gained traction with its holistic swimming programme for new parents – taking in aqua-natal yoga before birth all the way to baby and toddler swimming classes. Its franchise model has allowed the entrepreneurial duo to quickly scale to a hugely impressive extent whilst juggling the challenges of motherhood at the same time; the business now has more than 300 territories across the UK, Australia and Ireland and a licensor agreement with Lloyds to enable it to quickly take on more licensees by providing them with business loans. Narrowly missing out on the 2012 award, Sparks and Lixton’s persistence in applying for a second time won them favour with the judges and is a great example of how motherhood and runaway business success can sometimes go hand-in-hand.

Indeed, in many ways, starting a business is akin to raising a child; both present an enormously steep learning curve, with unknown challenges ahead – but can offer the prospect of great rewards on the horizon. Any entrepreneur who manages to do both at once certainly deserves our plaudits, so it is natural we celebrate the UK’s best and brightest mumpreneurs in our Startups Awards.

What are we looking for in mumpreneurs?

With a panel that includes Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts, the Startups Awards judges are looking for a successful business founded by a mum successfully juggling the demands of work and home life. The business does not have to have any specific focus, but the panel will take factors such as turnover, growth potential, profitability and any major client wins into account.  

Why you should you enter your business for Mumpreneur of the Year

Now in its 11th year, the Startups Awards has gained a reputation for its unrivalled track record of unearthing the UK’s finest entrepreneurial businesses. Winning the Mumpreneur of the Year category will give you validation from industry experts and recognition of your success so far. It also serves as a great PR platform, with positive national and local press coverage.

This is a relatively new category, and by winning you will become just the third mumpreneur to be recognised by our awards, joining the founders of children’s skincare brand Naturally Cool Kids and swimming franchise Turtle Tots as exceptional mums deserving of nationwide recognition.

Winners and finalists will also be provided with a logo to use on marketing literature and letterheads, and a template press release to maximise media coverage. Video interviews of all winners will also be displayed on the Startups Awards website.

In addition, the Startups Awards provides a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs therefore helping to drive awareness about your brilliant product business.

What our sponsors say

Simply Business – “From the next-generation marketing platforms to innovative swimming class franchises and flexible working solutions, the products and services entered to the Startups Awards each year give us enormous pride in our sponsorship, and enthusiasm for the years to come.”

Companies can enter as many relevant categories as they like for a one-off fixed fee – you don’t need to fill the form in separately for each category but you will need to provide tailored answers.

We want to hear from you if you think your product business is the most innovative product start-up around right now – enter today.

Ryan Platt

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