eBay for Small Business

eBay Reveals £7 Billion Mum-Economy

Mum-owned businesses supported over 200,000 jobs in 2014 

British mumpreneurs are an increasingly powerful economic group, adding billions to the UK economy and supporting thousands of jobs, new research from online marketplace eBay reveals.


Businesses set up and run by mums as sole-proprietors are flourishing, generating £7.2 billion for the UK economy in 2014, and supporting 204,600 jobs last year alone.


These businesses range from micro-businesses run by mums at home while looking after young children, through to multi-million pound operations like Thingimijigs, which started with just an eBay account, £200 and a kitchen table and now sells branded gifts and accessories for kids globally from a purpose built facility in Lancashire.


The eBay commissioned study, conducted by independent economists Development Economics, also reveals that the value of the mum-economy is increasing each year, and is set to increase even further in the future:

·         The number of jobs supported by mum-run businesses has grown 23% since 2011

·         Their value to the economy has increased 30% over this period


By 2025, increased opportunity and flexibility for mums in business, will:

·         Add an extra £2 billion to the economy, taking the annual mum-economy to £9.5 billion

·         And support an extra 13,000 jobs, taking the total employed by mum-run businesses to 217,600


The most successful sectors for mum-run businesses are diverse, ranging from:

·         Health and care services e.g. care homes and medical practices run by mums – contributing £1.4 billion to the economy each year

·         Professional, scientific & technical services e.g. legal services, management consultancy, advertising plus jobs that are involved in technical research and R&D - contributing £1.1 billion to the economy each year

·         Arts, entertainment, recreation e.g. running museums and galleries, cinemas, entertainment venues, bingo halls - contributing £900 million to the economy each year

·         Retail e.g. jobs in bricks and mortar shops, market stalls, online retail - contributing £650 million to the economy each year



Sarah Calcott, eBay UK COO says: “Improved connectivity and growing digital literacy is enabling ambitious, business-minded mums, to realise and pursue successful enterprises.


“These entrepreneurial businesswomen are building impressive companies, creating both wealth and jobs whilst also fulfilling one of the most demanding roles of all – being a mum.


“I’m enormously proud of the role that a marketplace like eBay is playing by providing the infrastructure and resources for mums to strike a successful and effective balance between business and family life.”



Steve Lucas from Development Economics says: ‘Businesses set up and run by mums as sole-proprietors generated £7.2 billion for the UK economy in 2014, similar in value to economies like Armenia, Malta or Madagascar.


These same businesses supported over 200,000 jobs last year, equivalent to the entire population of Portsmouth. Our research indicates that by 2025 the ‘mum-economy’ will add an extra £2 billion and 13,000 jobs to UK plc.’




Boho Mama Boutique

In 2013, Julia Rockett, mother of four went into business, opening Boho Mama Boutique, which sells maternity clothes and ladies fashionwear on eBay:

“One of the biggest benefits of starting up Boho Mama Boutique has been the flexibility it has afforded me, both as a parent and businesswoman.  Unlike my old office job where I was pinned to my desk from 9am to 5pm, I can organise my life around the specific demands of that day.  For example, if one of the kids becomes ill I can drop everything, take care of them and then catch up with packaging and shipping orders in the evening.”

“While start-up costs were a concern initially, this was more than offset by the cost of childcare, which ate into my income considerably. Unlike starting a traditional bricks and mortar businesses, it was easier to kick off Boho Mama online on eBay because it immediately gave us access to millions of consumers.   My husband Jay, who is a designer, helped with the logo and I took care of everything else, reinvesting revenue accrued from the stock we had and developing from there.”

Baby Moo’s

Anna-Lee Kewley raised £230 selling old possessions while pregnant in 2010.  Of the view that funky and fun baby clothes were too expensive, Kewley spotted the gap to bring the funk, without the fee.

Since then, Baby Moo’s has developed into a fledging online business and strong brand, something which her 85,000 likes on Facebook and “New Media” business award at the 2015 National Venus Awards are testament to.  She said:

“Baby Moo’s started from humble beginnings.  Having raised a small sum selling possessions old goods, I got a £260 grant to buy printing equipment and self-taught myself to how to design, build and develop the website and learn about search engine optimisation (SEO).”  

“I use Facebook because my customers use it more – it’s easier to build and establish relationships with customers.  Generally my day revolves around the kids’ schedule – I box everything up while the kids are at school and childcare before we go on a journey to the post office to drop off the parcels.”

“Having access to an infrastructure like eBay has been vital.  Baby Moo’s not only sells to consumers but we’ve developed strong networks and stable relationships with retailers and stockists in Sweden, Canada and Australia as well.  This has been crucial in helping us to develop the scale of the business.” 


Notes to editors:


·         eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) is the world’s most vibrant marketplace for discovering great value and unique selection. eBay connects millions of buyers and sellers around the globe, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Our vision for commerce is one that is enabled by people, powered by technology and open to everyone. We focus on empowering our sellers, not competing with them, and we create stronger connections between buyers and sellers with product experiences that are fast, mobile and secure. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we're just as passionate today about connecting buyers and sellers as when we founded the company in 1995. For more information, visit ebayinc.com. The definition of a mumpreneur business used by Development Economics is: ‘a business that has been established or is being run by a sole proprietor who is female with one or more children aged up to 18’.


·         The definition of a mumpreneur business used by Development Economics is: ‘a business that has been established or is being run by a sole proprietor who is female with one or more children aged up to 18’.

·         Current and recent data for this paper has been sourced from the following:

o   ONS Business Counts data (from the Inter Departmental Business Register), 2011-2014

o   ONS data on employment by business size, ownership type and sector

o   ONS data on Gross Value Added by business size, ownership type and sector

o   ONS Labour Force Survey, 2011-2014

o   In addition, forecasts for future levels of employment and economic output by sector for the UK economy have been sourced from Oxford Economics.