The SMBN (Single Mums Business Network)

The SMBN is a Business Network for Single Mums http://www.singlemumsbusinessnetwork.co.uk

The SMBN was formed by Single Mum and Multi-Award-Winning Business Woman Julie Hawkins to create a Business Network specifically to recognise and support the challenges that are unique to single mums when starting and growing a business in the UK. Whilst there are similar and varying difficult challenges for dads and mums with partners Julie can only run a network based on her own personal experience and area of understanding, so please do not be offended if this is not the tailored network for you.

The SMBN is not a support network for single mums, it is a business network tailored to single mums – what does that mean?

Networking events in school hours only,  awards that are early evening so that your children can accompany you (and witness your glory!),  conferences during school hours,  talks in meetings tailored to single mums i.e. Making a Will,  Building a Pension Pot, Finding Finance, Breaking Away from Benefits, Living with Stigma, Celebrating Your Contributions and so much more.

The SMBN is to connect single mums nationally, to enhance knowledge of possibilities, resources, discounts, and essentially to increase exposure to your business.  One of the most challenging things when you are starting out is budget, budget to advertise your product or service, but with the collective marketing power of the SMBN you can rest assured that you have the best possible chance of succeeding, with support in every area that could otherwise potentially leave you feeling helpless given your adverse circumstances.

Whilst the SMBN welcomes members who are at the beginning of their journey, we also encourage members who are well established and are no longer facing the battles that they once did.  You will understand and appreciate the journey of your network and your input will be invaluable to helping another single mum change her life for the better, and become fully financially independant.

The SMBN has a secret facebook group.  It is set to secret as it is important that anything you confide or comment is not seen by anybody who is not a signed up member and fully accountable for their comments and advice.

Meetings throughout the UK are shared with members and these cost £10 per meeting, to cover costs of refreshments and host.  Meeting are 11-1 allowing a couple of hours travel meaning that you should be able to attend at least 4 face-to-face meetings a year.

The SMBN Conference is in September 2019, just after the children are back at school, and will be full of useful information and inspirational speakers from those who have lived it and come out the other side.

The SMBN Inspirational Single Mums of the Year Awards are in May 2020, and are open to members only.

As a single mum in business is it likely that you simply want to work, be financially independent, and be a ‘full-time’ mum.  These days sometimes being a full-time mum is treated as though you are committing a crime, this stigma must end.

There are some great forward thinking companies in the UK who advertise part-time and flexible working jobs, such as 2to3days.  These are good jobs with good pay that do not insult your ability to work as a mum.  There are also opportunities for self-employment roles and of course you need to understand how to survive with uncertain income.  Too many companies take advantage of part-time workers by offering pay that leaves you no choice but to remain in relative poverty and need support for the duration that you are a parent, and so self-employment it is.  This still seems to be the only chance that you really have to become completely financially independent and be able to attend school assemblies.  That really isn’t a crime, and please do not let anybody tell you that it is.

Julie’s passion comes from her own story that you can read more about here, and that is why she set up the SMBN to support other single-mums fighting for their families.

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton