Not retirement but a career break whilst raising a family. The purpose here is to provide e-networking for mothers (or grandmothers!) who are constrained by obligations to children and family, but would like to continue to make use of and develop their professional, artistic and innovative skills.
Whatever the objective, it is normally much easier and more fun to achieve if it is done in cooperation with others, and particularly with others who have complementary skills. So please use this as message board to outline your project and seek comments and participation from some of the other mothers who are keen to use and expand their multi tasking skills. Maybe a few of the over 50s may be able to help also!
A contributor writes:
"Mothers are, in my opinion, a massively under-utilized resource of skills and experience that are often looking for a way to keep their skills current but on their own, flexible terms. They want to do project type work which may not have a fixed deadline that they can interweave into their normal 'housewife routine' (if that is not too politically incorrect). I see it as a classic trade off of flexibility against cost. The trick seems to be to identify enough of them to make a viable virtual organisation AND to identify the sorts of companies who need some support who would be the customer base. It seems obvious that organisations like UK Business Incubation and Business Link would be good sources of information about that customer base. I know that Business Link do have some sort of on-tap pre-registered consultants. The answer to the first question is of course by contacting school parents associations - who are always populated by the mothers.
There is a local outfit close to us who organize baby sitting. Their model is that you pay them a monthly fee and then a small percentage for them to take the hassle out of organising a babysitter for you - a service industry to parents. I guess that is the sort of model I had in mind."
Lets have some more thoughts on this - and maybe hear from some school parents associations!
Take a look at www.womenlikeus.org.uk, an award wining social enterprise which supports women with children to find flexible work. It puts employers in touch with them and provides both parties with the support needed to make the relationship work. They have a successful network ion London, and are researching pilot projects in Birmingham and Solihull.
Also see www.netmums.com/home/home. Netmums is a local network giving access to all kinds of local resources, and networking with other mums.
And of course, see also www.mumsnet.com, which is a classic group social networking site and has been quoted in TheTimes is as being the country's most popular meeting point for parents.
Thinking of starting your own business? See www.prowess.org.uk , which is the UK association of organisations and individuals who support women to start and grow businesses.
www.peopleperhour.com, who connect people who need things done with people who can do them.
http://parttimejobs1.co.uk Offers jobs and vacancies from the majority of employers and recruitment agencies in the UK. Jobseekers can use their search facilities to find jobs matching their criteria within a set radius of any town or city in the UK. Jobssekers have the option to register and have their CV distributed to all major recruitment agencies and jobsites in the UK all through one form.
If you are interested to serve on a trustee board, see http://www.trustees-unlimited.co.uk , a joint venture between Bates Wells and Braithwaite, Russam GMS and NCVO, all of whom are specialist in third sector work. I'm told they don't charge a fee to potential trutees for their matching service!