Spotlight On....Suzanne Borrell of mumandworking.co.uk

Build14me are proud to be sponsoring the mumandworking awards 2015. The awards highlight amazing individuals, inspiring employers & the many advantages of flexible, family-friendly employment.

Here we spoke to Suzanne Borrell co-owner of mumandworking.co.uk about what get's her up in the mornings.

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The reason I work the way I do now is because I am a mum.We acquired mumandworking from a ‘mumpreneur’ in 2008. we were already engaged with the website as we used it to promote our Whatson4
(http://www.whatson4.co.uk/) group of websites and it had always given us great results.

We really loved the mumandnetworking concept, it offered parents, mums and dads, the opportunity to find work that is flexible enough to work around their children. Since we have owned the site we have had a technical rebuild and in 2014 we had a rebrand.

We see flexible working is a global phenomenon and last year we launched in Australia (http://www.mumandworking.com.au/) . The site was launched by an Australian entrepreneur who loved the approach of mumandworking uk and really understands the ‘power and potential’ of flexible working. The Australian market is similar to the UK’s and in both we are seeing a growing emphasis on flexibility/sympathy towards parents.Government and industry in the UK is recognising that employing parents and allowing them to work flexibly is reaping enormous returns. In our experience parents may work less hours but they are incredibly committed and hard-working during those hours. It is possible to have a work life balance that work, you can do both.

We see that flexible working can work well in small businesses too. It can be more of a juggle to begin with but if both parties are committed to it working then it invariably does.

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It is quite refreshing the way thoughts are changing around parenting specifically for dad’s.

We set up the mumandworking awards because we understood that there was a lot of talent being unrecognised. There are some amazing examples of businesses of all sizes really committing to flexible working and some amazing shining stars who are setting up their own businesses and creating opportunities for other mums.

We are delighted that this year we have attracted support from large banks like Natwest and RBS right through to small businesses like Build14me (www.build14me.com)

We have an award for Celebrity Parent of the year because we felt that it was important to show that even high profile parents have to have flexible working options.

We believe the ‘flexible working sector’ is really taking off and the fact that the ‘mum economy’ is said to be worth over £7.2 bn and supports over 204,000 jobs (see
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/11782294/Mumpreneurs-generate-7bn-for-the-UK-economy.html) shows that mums and dad’s are really important to the growth of the UK’s economy.

My children get me up in the morning, but my business keeps me up. I work for four and a half hours a day, it’s a condensed and hectic schedule but I love it.

I was an event manager before I had children working a lot in the former Soviet Union. As a mother I could not carry on with that sort of lifestyle but I am really glad I was able to push the boundaries before I had children as it has meant that I still see opportunities rather than obstacles.

There are just 4 of us at ‘What's On 4’ HQ - the core 4! and apart from our web designer & legal and accountancy work we do almost everything in house. We have a great new chairman who joined recently, a dedicated mumandworking sales team and franchisees across the UK and the World to keep us busy!  It is hard work but great fun.

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Ben Macdonald