Mumpreneurs

Reporter: Lynda Kinkade

Three busy mums, three successful entrepreneurs doing it for themselves and their families.

Dr Lucy Burns calls it fund-raising in disguise -- chocolates in the shape of bouquets. As if working as a GP and running a household wasn't enough, the mother of two wanted another job and came up with the idea while on holidays.

Her passion was motivated by the need to find a cure for muscular dystrophy; a genetic condition she suffers which results in the wasting of muscles. There's no treatment and it generally leads to premature death.

After just six months, the chocolate bouquets are turning a profit thanks to a little internet advertising and some regular customers. "We have our corporate which provide our bread and butter, and depending on the season so Christmas obviously helps, Valentines, Mother's Day", Lucy said.

Already she's planning her next big fund-raising venture -- Australia's biggest book club. $11 dollars out of each book sold online at retail price goes back into research. "All you need to do is log online, buy the book and we'll mail it out to you", Lucy said said.

Leanne Faulkner is also a mother who's business was inspired by the need to find a medical cure. "I guess you could say I started out of desperation really. My youngest son Liam had eczema and we tried everything traditional to try and help him -- all the usual creams and bath soaks -- and nothing seemed to help him and so I went to the internet to see what we might be able to do", Leanne said.

The answer - was in the paddock. "Goats milk is supposedly good for people with sensitive skin and I thought I've got the goats, I've got the milk, might as well see if I can try and make some soap", Leanne said.

After a few trial runs and many failed soaps later - Leanne found the formula that worked. Word spread and Liam's treatment became a mass production.

A few years later business couldn't be better. Leanne, a former city girl, had gone from not knowing how to milk a goat to turning over a couple of millions of dollars a year.

Suzanne Riley's business began four years ago and was inspired by her kids. "Having children with phones and losing them and then trying to find something that they could hold their phones in that they wanted to use -- and there was just nothing on the market", Suzanne said.

Her handy little pouches certainly filled the gap. "I was thinking put it on e-Bay, make a little bit of cappuccino money, maybe see how it goes and when I actually got the product in my hands, I thought this is fabulous", Suzanne said.

The hardest part for the single mum was keeping up with the orders -- locally and overseas in New Zealand and the US.

So called Mumpreneurs are on the rise with more women wanting to combine work with family life.

Australian Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Peter Anderson says, "We've seen an increase in the number of contractors and small businesses -- about 1.2 million over the past 10 years - it's a very substantial increase".

But a word of warning -- starting your own business is rarely smooth sailing with around 80% of small businesses failing in the first five years. "There has to be a lot of attention paid to the basics of business management", Peter said.

It's all worth a shot, if you've done your homework.

For further details:

Dr Lucy Burns

Better than flowers business

www.betterthanflowers.com.au

Leanne Faulkner

Baby Goats Milk

www.billiegoatsoap.com.au

Suzanne Riley

Posse Pouches

www.mypossepouch.com