In Bulgaria, mothers and society perceive the period of maternity as the most important because of the need for childcare. But this is also a period of increasing family expenses that puts mothers in front of the dilemma – to raise their children by accepting some deprivation or returning to work. About 70,000 women become mothers each year in Bulgaria according to various studies and at least 18,000 mothers remain outside the labor market. For many mothers, it is difficult to return to their workplace under previous conditions – working time, distance from home, pay. On the one hand, in a situation of brain drain, labour shortages and needs of qualified staff, companies are trying to retain the experienced workers. On the other hand, there are a number of factors which stop employers of hiring mothers, for example part of the sick leave burden, is taken over by the company.
Alternatively, more and more mothers are looking for opportunities in some form of economic activity – own business, small family business, partnership. Extremely important for mothers is the possibility of new, flexible forms of employment and business activity, balancing with the obligations at home. In addition to funding programs and sources of financing, mothers are trying to find appropriate legal form for doing business, and a relevant tax framework. There is also a lack of supporting structures – business incubators, accelerators, networks.
Young mothers find the most support in their family, with grandparents and close relatives traditionally involved in raising children and helping family or family businesses. Many young women, however, leave their native places to seek a career in bigger cities and thus lose support from their relatives, which is a major obstacle for them to develop a business or to work. The shortage of places in kindergartens in larger cities is also an obstacle for the mumpreneurs.
However, in recent years there has been a steady increase in the share of female entrepreneurs in Bulgaria. In the European Union, about 30% of entrepreneurs are women and in Bulgaria, the situation is similar to the EU average.