More working mums are choosing to become self-employed in order to improve their work-life balance, according to new research.
A report from Nominet, which runs the .uk domain, says that so-called "millennial mums" are looking for more flexibility when they go back to work after maternity leave.
It reveals that 17% of millennial mums expect to set up their own business within the next 12 months, and a further 21% expect to be their own boss in the next five years. Almost one in twelve (8%) of new mums are already running post-baby enterprises in the UK.
Flexibility is the big draw, the report finds. Over half (54%) of mums who returned to traditional employment after maternity leave say they have struggled to juggle family life with a nine-to-five job and 22% say they have felt anxious about working as a result. And 78% of mums say flexibility and control over working hours is the main reason why they are choosing to work for themselves.
The high cost of going back to work is also a key factor. Prohibitive childcare costs are the number one financial concern (89%) followed by travel costs (41%). In addition, 71% of new mums feel guilty about leaving their child with someone else and over half (54%) worry about time spent commuting.
Millennial mums are positive about the value of maternity leave, with the majority (94%) saying parenting skills such as multi-tasking, time-management, forming relationships and keeping calm under pressure give them a competitive edge in the business world.
The work involved in setting up a business has not put off this group of would-be entrepreneurs. One fifth of those polled have already carried out some market research, 28% have set up a website and/or a professional email address and 13% have drafted a business plan.
Russell Haworth, ceo of Nominet, said: "I think that we're seeing an entrepreneurial shift in the UK workforce - and women with young children are at the forefront. There is real enthusiasm amongst millennial mums to be their own boss to ensure they can achieve the all-important work-life balance, while still generating an income to support their growing family. Advancements in technology mean it's never been easier to set up your own business online and to quickly develop a space for yourself and your ideas."