Australian mums in business contribute significantly to our economy and it’s about time they are acknowledged and better supported, according to Carrie Kwan, the co-founder of Mums & Co.
The serial entrepreneur, who also founded DailyAddict.com.au, runs a members-based online network aimed at helping mums in business thrive.
She’s also just launched the first Mums & Co MPowered Conference, a marquee event and pitch competition being held at the ICC Sydney on 18 June. Women’s Agenda is a media partner on this event, and will be interviewing the winner of the pitch competition.
Carrie is the latest to answer our Q&A as part of our new series called The Link, connecting you to to the ideas, work and inspiration of different women.
Who and what do you lead?
I have the privilege of being the co-founder / MD of Mums & Co, a member-based online network committed to helping mums in business thrive. Like it takes a village to raise a child, Mums & Co is an online village that’s a safer, smarter way for her to grow her business.
It offers tailored products and benefits for business mums, as well as perks they would not normally get access to. These include free or heavily discounted essential services like marketing, legal, insurance and accounting, an online site with useful business content as well as a platform to share knowledge. We believe that ‘together we’re stronger’ and aims to create Australia’s most empowered community of mums in business. Membership is free and open to mums in business as well as all those who support her.
I’m also the founder of DailyAddict.com.au.
I lead an all parent team at Mums & Co and co-lead an all-boys team at home.
What are you working on right now that’s got you really excited?
The Mums & Co MPowered Conference – our marquee event and pitch competition being held at the ICC Sydney on 18 June!
We’re hosting an incredible conference day filled with the latest business growth strategies and knowledge, networking and a whole lot of inspiration. We’re giving every business-minded woman an opportunity to pitch their business ideas and learn vital pitching for capital skills at our pitch competition.
What one issue is making your really angry right now?
Ask any owner what the most challenging thing about launching a small business is, and they’ll likely answer: funding. Our Australian Mums In Business Survey showed that one in two business considerers believe that financial concerns act as a major barrier to them starting a business, both costs associated with setup and access to capital funding.
Australian mums in business contribute significantly to our economy and it’s time she’s acknowledged and better supported. Despite women facing increasing childcare costs and accessibility, workplace inflexibility, and unequal pay, her numbers are set to rise.
Best piece of career advice you ever received?
Take action on every learning, no matter how small that action is.
What would you go back and tell yourself ten years ago?
Don’t be afraid to bring together a diverse advisory board.
Biggest hurdle you’ve faced (or are still facing) in your career? And…
Like most working mums, being able to juggle the equally demanding tasks of motherhood and business ownership, has definitely been the biggest challenge.
Whether it’s having to squeeze in time to work between parenting duties, or scheduling meetings to work around child-care, time pressures always put up obstacles.
Now with a one year old and three-year-old, the days are rather full. This will change as my children and business mature, but for now, I’m often working at 5am, 11pm or any snatches of time I can get in-between my parenting duties, dealing with lack of sleep or bouts of child sickness, child care drop-offs and pick-ups, and domestic work. There is not much time for life outside of work and family.
…How did/are you pushing through/working around it?
It has been challenging integrating my family and career ambitions. But like most working mums, with my partner and ‘village’ we get through it!
I would advise anyone starting a business to create a personal and professional network that they can lean on.
One smart way to do this is to join a community of other like-minded mums like Mums & Co – it’s really powerful having the strength of community and a pool of knowledge and resources to draw on. It’s also a win-win as we can help each other with connections, and business mums tend to want to work with (or purchase from) other business mums.
How have mentors or sponsors (or both) aided your career?
Some have made vital introductions and connections for collaborations and business opportunities. Others have helped with ideas and working through specific personal or business growth goals. They’ve all given me diverse perspectives on ways forward, and the possibility of making things even better, despite the odds. In addition to giving direction and bolstering my self-belief and self-awareness.
Fellow founders (in a less official capacity) have also been a great source of support.
What’s your favourite piece of tech?
My MacBook – for helping me convey many words and making many connections. Followed closely by my iPhone.
What daily publications do you read or follow?
Women’s Agenda. Fortune’s The Broadsheet. Things that Google alerts send me.
What apps or tools do you use to help manage your day?
Asana, Trello, CoSchedule, Gmail calendar, Dropbox, Headspace, Whatsapp.
What book do you most recommend to other women when it comes to their career?
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
And what are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
Reading – Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone by Brené Brown
Watching – 13 Reasons Why, Ozark, Stranger Things
Listening – Monocle radio, Kinderling Radio and Podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz
Where can people find out more about your work? (social media etc?)
Got a woman to suggest who you’d like to next read about on Women’s Agenda?
Jenny Atkinson, Littlescribe Founder
Nicola Hazell, SheStarts
Julie Trell, Muru-D (her upcoming work with SheEO is phenomenal)