The award winning networking group ‘Freelance Mum’ (FM) has launched new hub in Dartington.

Run by South Devon-based working mums’ Ingrid Wolpert and Jess Wynn-Jones, the group meets on the third Thursday each month to ‘netwalk’ around Dartington for fresh air and focus questions, enabling mums in business to network and bring their children.

Freelance Mum hopes the connections made will provide invaluable support to many woman who juggle running their own business with parenting.

The also group offers an active online community of support and cheerleaders for women in business, with weekly online coffee mornings and member led sessions where all hub members across the country can come together and connect.

The idea of ‘baby-strapping’ was created by Bristol-based Faye Dicker in 2013, who juggled motherhood around her voiceover work and wanted to create a network that supported parents in business.

Ingrid, a food freedom and body confidence coach, set up the South Devon hub with BBC journalist and musician Jess, after moving to the area with her family during the covid pandemic at the same time as starting up her online business.

She described the loneliness she felt while home-schooling her children and learning how to build a business.

“I thought ‘I can’t be the only one struggling with this, so I looked online to find a community of mums who are also business owners, and happened to find FM online,” she said.

“From the first online coffee morning I felt so welcome and like I had found a great group of mums who help each other through the challenges of parenting plus entrepreneurship.

“However, I also craved some ‘real life’ meet ups and so setting up a hub in South Devon seemed a no-brainer.

“Local knowledge is so helpful in terms of juggling all things mum and business, and I was lucky to team up with Jess, who grew up in Devon, to set up the first South Devon hub.”

Jess, who attended FM events in Bristol, said: “When I moved back to Devon and was approached to lead the South Devon hub, it felt like fate. I’ve been amazed at the diversity and scale of female-run businesses here.

“The brilliant thing is, despite all working in different industries, we all have the same challenges. Freelance Mum is a super supportive network and I can’t wait to see it grow in South Devon.”

Founder Faye said: “The fresh air and focus questions are an important part of Freelance Mum, it’s well recognised the importance of connecting with nature for our well-being and clarity.

“In a world where everything can feel fast paced, it’s even more important to take some time out and connect with fellow business owners who are on the same page. The focus questions keep conversation on track and help members get the most from the sessions.”

The group meets at the Green Table Cafe, Lower Drive, Dartington Estate.

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