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This week sees the launch of a new company offering support and vocational expertise for UK mothers planning to strike a better work/life balance by setting up their own home based business.

Whether they’re embarking on a new career as a freelance journalist, life coach, web designer or counsellor, Lotus Courses provides a complete bespoke Home Business Start-up Programme and ongoing support service.

Each Lotus programme combines home-study training and a range of workshops and online courses, with home business support and mentoring for this new breed of savvy ‘business-mum’. The current trend towards flexible working, combined with the recent increases to maternity leave allowance has seen mothers re-assess their working lifestyle and increasingly take steps towards a more balanced existence.

Solely targeted at women who value both quality family-time and meaning and purpose in their work, Lotus offers training in a wide range of subject areas, from aromatherapy to child day care and from interior design to fiction writing, as well as fundamental business skills. In addition to this, Lotus also provides a support hub in the form of home business mentoring, life and confidence coaching and access to a growing network of like-minded business-mums to provide inspiration and encouragement.

A recent study* revealed that more than a third of business-mums chose a career that enabled them to work from home so that they could be a stay-at-home-mum too. Almost half (43%) actively sought out training before embarking on their new business venture. With this in mind, Lotus equips women with the tools they need to set up their own business and help them realise their full potential as a business-mum who can run a successful enterprise from home. What’s more, women registering with the site, www.lotuscourses.com, can take advantage of a FREE online course, “Secrets of Becoming a Successful Business Mum”. The ten-day preparatory course is delivered by email each day and modules cover topics such as ‘balancing business with motherhood’ and ‘beating procrastination’.

Leigh Hunt, Founder of Lotus Courses and herself a successful business-mum, says: “Lotus is committed to supporting women in their search for a better balance between life and work. Through coaching, training and home business support, it’s our mission to arm women with the vision, confidence and skills to run their own home based business and, more specifically, businesses that can work in harmony with family and personal commitments. In today’s society, many women feel a work/life imbalance and with it a perpetual feeling of guilt. At the core of Lotus’ philosophy is the belief that all women should be free to live a full and balanced life, finding fulfilment in personal, family and work commitments – guilt-free”.

Lotus’ unique Home Business Start-up Programmes are designed specifically for women who have made the exciting decision to retrain and become their own boss. Each four-step Programme includes: success coaching to identify strengths; home-study leading to a recognised qualification as well as training in essential business areas such as bookkeeping and marketing; start-up mentoring from an experienced business-mum who can offer advice and support to get the business off the ground and finally ongoing home business support which offers access to discounts on further professional development courses and lifetime membership to Lotus’ growing community of business-mums. The Programmes cost just £695 and are currently available for women choosing to start their own home based business in the following areas (with more to be added in the future):

- Freelance Journalist
- Interior Designer
- Web Designer
- Life Coach
- Virtual Assistant
- Child Day Carer
- Aromatherapist
- Counsellor
- Bookkeeper
- Fiction Writer
- Combined Writer & Journalist

For those women who are already in the early stages of starting their own home based business, for example, freelancing in other sectors, buying a franchise or launching an online shop, Lotus has also designed the ‘Plan for Success’ Start-up Programme. Again including success coaching and home business mentoring, this particular Programme aims to help with the thorough planning required to maximise start-up success and incorporates the Business Planning Diploma to guide budding business-mums through creating, and finishing, their business plan to turn their dream enterprise into a reality.

To find out more about how Lotus Courses can help you get your own home business off the ground, visit www.lotuscourses.com or call 0845 094 5889.

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Leigh Hunt, Founder of Lotus Education Ltd, is available for interview. To arrange an interview or for further press information, please contact Lesley Singleton at Lesley@lsmedia.co.uk or 07926 160 389 / 020 8133 6795.

Notes to editors:

Lotus Business Start-up Programme at a glance:

- Success Coaching
- Home Business Start-up mentoring
- Nationally recognised, accredited qualification
- “Profit from Business” home study pack
- Access to hundred of online short computer and business skills courses
- Opportunities to network with other likeminded businesswomen
- Lifetime Lotus membership for continuous home business support

All women registering at www.lotuscourses.com can take advantage of the exclusive FREE eCourse, “The Secrets of Becoming a Successful Business Mum”. A different module is delivered directly via email each day for ten days and the modules covered are:

1. Developing a Successful mindset
2. Finding a Business Idea
3. Beating Procrastination
4. Setting Goals
5. The Woman's Way to do Business
6. Balancing Business with Motherhood
7. Funding your Business
8. Why Networking is Good For Your Business
9. Finding Support for You and Your Business
10. Ready, Steady, Go!

* Study conducted by Yellow Pages (in conjunction with the London School of Economics), September 2006

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