Serial entrepreneur Carrie Kwan has sold her women’s microbusiness advisory and networking platform, Mums & Co, to insurance giant IAG for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, via IAG’s NRMA Insurance brand, reflects a longstanding relationship with Kwan, dating back to the genesis of Mums & Co in 2016, with the insurer an existing investor in the business.
The sale of the startup after seven years was revealed at the launch of a new report, Micro but Mighty: Magnifying Microbusiness in Australia, commissioned by NRMA Insurance. It found that microbusinesses (typically up to four employees) make up 89% of all Australian businesses, with the sector growing by 14% over the past four years to 2.28 million businesses, employing 2.9 million people.
Kwan and her team of three will continue to run the brand under the auspices of the insurer.
“It provides the best of both worlds for Mums & Co; to continue with our entrepreneurial spirit, buoyed by the support and resources of NRMA Insurance,” she said.
“It’s an exciting era and leadership opportunity for organisations and brands to show how deeply they care for customers and the community. I’m proud to have led Mums & Co to this opportunity and looking forward to working together to add value to NRMA Insurance’s customers and de-risk business for business-owning women and mothers, and their ‘Co’.”
For Kwan it means returning to corporate life after nearly a decade in small business.
“I’m a two-time founder that started my career in corporate, so it feels great to come ‘full-circle’ and champion the role of intrapreneurship at a company that is committed to making the world of business-owning women a safer place… whilst still knees deep in advocating for female entrepreneurship and investment in women-led ventures,” she said.
Discussing the microbusiness report, Kwan said more than a third (35%) of Australian businesses were owned by women.
“With lower barriers to entry, women are creating more businesses than men, and this increasingly becomes a viable option to earn an income and balance career and family,” she said.
“However, as the report shows, microbusinesses are often overlooked and don’t get the attention and support they deserve. It’s vital to continue to support women at all stages of business and motherhood.”
NRMA Insurance CEO Julie Batch said the acquisition of Mums & Co was a natural progression for them.
“We are thrilled to continue to support a platform that helps business-owning women build their expertise and networks,” she said.
“Our investment will enable Mums & Co scale-up so that together we can help even more microbusinesses across the country succeed.”
Kwan said the only change to the Mums & Co members will see is great support and scale operations or service, only more support and scale.
“This exciting new phase gives more business women access to our digital subscription which helps our members build deep networks, access strategic guidance, resources and support. We are also excited to have the opportunity to add more value to NRMA Insurance customers.
The insurer is offering 500 free 12-month Mums & Co community-level subscriptions to women until August 31.
The fifth annual Be MPowered conference will be held on October 26, and will be free to attend online.