Podcast highlights business start-up advice

The last episode of this series of the Mums.Dads.Work podcast focuses on advice for people looking to set up their own businesses.

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For those of you thinking of starting your own business in the new year, having a good support network is essential.

The final episode of the Mums.Dads.Work podcast includes expert advice on all things related to starting up a business and keeping it going. Our main guest is Jules Hawkins, founder of the Single Mums Business Network [SMBN].

She covers everything from how she started her own business and the main challenges, particularly as a single parent to running a business on the side of other work and how having a network helps keep mum entrepreneurs going.

Jules is passionate about giving single mums more options than low-paid, part-time work that fits around school hours.

She launched SMBN in 2019. It holds monthly peer-support sessions, where women discuss topics such as finding responsible lenders, marketing skills, and navigating the benefits system. The network also promotes members’ businesses via its quarterly magazine, social media channels, and national media appearances.  The focus is on sharing challenges and practical help to overcome them.

SMBN members run businesses that range from pilates studios to business consulting. Hawkins’ own business, which makes specialist pillows for pregnant women, has won awards for innovation and marketing.

The podcast episode – the final one of six in this series, all focused on practical advice – also includes a discussion between hosts Ben Falk, editor of workingdads.co.uk, and Mandy Garner, editor of workingmums.co.uk, about the challenges Christmas can present for working parents, from dealing with work pressure and work parties to preparing for xmas, school celebrations, plays and events, not to mention the financial challenges of the festive season. Mandy and Ben also pick out their highlights from the series, which has covered everything from cv and interview advice to the latest on employment laws.

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