By Daniel Hunter

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

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 study also revealed 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, and 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, professional, scientific & technical services, arts, entertainment, recreation and retail.

Sarah Calcott, eBay UK COO said: “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."

Steve Lucas from Development Economics, which conducted the research on behalf of eBay, said: "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."