The ‘mum economy’ has been growing at an unprecedented rate over the last year, particularly due to the rise in maternity discrimination within the workplace. Not only do mumpreneurs generate billions of pounds in the UK, they also create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
For Paula Wilkinson, winner of Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards last month, mumpreneurs are the “bread and butter” of her business, Mums Bake Cakes.
In less than a year, Mums Bake Cakes has had 3,500 local bakers register to the website, with the majority of them being mums working from home.
The first month of operation saw 4000 users on the site, 51% of which were new users. Since launching in January, the business has created a platform which brings together customers and bakers, whilst creating an extensive social media footprint.
Helping support mums turn their passions into a business with key industry advice portals, Paula, along with her business partner Richard Watson, has enabled thousands of home bakers to become mumpreneurs in their own right.
By providing technological support to enable them to work through promotion on social media, photography advice to help them display better, independent tax advice for running a business from home and educating about funding opportunities that maybe available, Mums Bakes Cakes has enabled individuals to become fully registered and insured bakers.
So, what’s the secret behind their success?
Richard said: “I think in the last few years, people have found a passion for baking, particularly around Great British Bake Off.
“Around 90-95% of our bakers are home bakers, but they have also taken the opportunity to be entrepreneurs themselves, which is fantastic, and we can help them along the way, which is really satisfying.”
Described as an Interflora for cakes, Mums Bake Cakes bridges the gap for people wanting to send cakes as gifts, but find it difficult due to distance or lack of local bakers with delivery services. It’s the first company to market a service where someone in Glasgow can arrange a home-made cake to be hand delivered in Kent.
Where did Paula’s inspiration come from?
The idea behind Mums Bake Cakes continues to drive Paula’s ambitions even today.
The sad loss of a much-loved niece prompted Paula to start the home-made cake delivery business, when she was unable to send the gift she wanted.
Davina Jones, who lived in the small town of Llanrwst, lost her battle with breast cancer in December at the age of just 44.
Paula said: “I wanted to send a gift to my niece in Wales, but flowers weren’t appropriate for her, as she enjoyed visiting cafes and sampling cakes.
“Unable to find a baker online who could deliver a special gift of a cake to her, I drove from Kent to Wales to hand deliver a cake myself and the idea was born.”
Mum-of-two Paula told Davina about the idea a few weeks before she passed away. She absolutely loved it and gave it her full support. Davina was so pleased to know that her legacy would be a cake-baking business in her memory.
Paula added: “The desire to succeed for her is the biggest driver anyone can have!”