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Finding a balance between work life and family life can be quite difficult. This is even more so the case in Mauritius, where companies do not adapt easily to certain situations. To keep top female employees within their ranks, various firms in developed countries are providing support to mothers. They offer several incentives and services to help women with their new commitments. Parents both get to take a paid year off work so as to cope with pregnancy and child care. In turn, these facilities work. The number of women who resign from their jobs decreases. Since parents feel less stressed when they are supported by their companies, they are more productive. All of these affect fellow coworkers, who feel more at ease knowing that their firm will take care of them in difficult times. Thus, they work more happily and increase their company’s financial rendition.

However, these services are not extensively provided in Mauritius. As such, parents have to make compromises to accommodate both work and family lives. Below are some steps that employees can follow to find a certain balance between these two different yet important worlds:

1. Look for flexibility

Time is essential for employees who have to look after their families. As such, they should try to get the maximum amount of time they can. Parents can ask their companies for options such as working remotely. They can also negotiate for flexible hours. These will allow them to save time that they would have spent commuting to their office. As they will be working from home, they will be more present for their families. This will in turn reduce the pressure that parents feel when they do not spend enough time with their children.

2. Take some time to relax

Many parents feel overworked since they have to take care of both their work and their home. They can get overwhelmed by this sentiment as they worry about being able to cope. This stress impacts on their mood and a bad mood can be detrimental to both the family and work. Taking some time to relax is therefore crucial. The amount of time that parents spend with their children is already limited. It should not be made worse with bitterness due to stress.

3. Get support and help

Women are often confronted with an impossible list of tasks that they have to complete within 24 hours. Taking the help of their partner is sure to decrease their amount of work and improve their efficiency and mood. Single parents face the same issue. Relying on other family members and on friends is another option. The more help one can get, the easier it is to find a balance between family life and work life.

4. Save money

Working parents can reduce their expenses by getting rid of expensive items that they do not need. By doing so, they will feel less pressured by debts and other financial concerns. Some may even find it more practical to switch to a part-time job following a decrease in monetary pressure. As such, they will get more time to spend with their families. This will in turn lead them to maintain the healthy balance that they are looking for.

 

As seen above, maintaining a full-time job while being present at home as a parent is not impossible. If companies begin to increase the support that they offer to parents, finding a balance between work and family will surely become easier.

Nathalie Daruty is a woman entrepreneur in Mauritius promoting medicinal plants. For a long time, Nathalie has been working on starting her enterprise Feuilles et fleurs and wants to take her business to the next level.  Now with all the knowledge, she has acquired from the Turbine Test Drive Program, she has joined the Turbine Incubation program to strengthen her start-up. Nathalie shares her vision and her interesting journey with us.

“I strongly wish to develop an enterprise that becomes the reference in the field of medicinal plants and its application. For that, I have plans to learn about the applications in depth from healers and specialists around the globe and bring this knowledge to our country to benefit our people.”

organic plantatin

Nathalie tending to her plants in her new field of crops

My entrepreneurial journey began when I started my studies on phytotherapy and aromatherapy. I started by testing a few infusions from plants in my garden and shared the products with friends and family: they loved it! Their reaction boosted my motivation and confidence so I kept working harder. I was able to make some money and buy paper bags as packaging.  Then I participating in Christmas markets where I earned enough money to buy a plant dryer. Taking part in these various fairs also allowed me to slowly level up the packaging. Back then, the dryer was in my garage while all the manufacturing was in my dining room. I finally also had to convert a room into a studio for my workshops. Despite having a few regular clients, my business could not flourish due to the limited land and production.

I have thus decided to move to farmland where I will also conduct my workshops.

natural products Foliage is collected in a sustainable and eco-conscious fashion

 

I am often asked:”Why Feuilles et Fleurs?”  One of the reasons is that I have always loved infusions and herbal products. After teaching for many years, I really wanted to do something that I am curious about and create new products that would be beneficial for our planet. That urge of doing something on my own doubled when I realized that I have to change my lifestyle to take care of our well being and go closer to nature.

Another reason would be the lack of good quality natural local herbal products. Most herbal products are imported and may not be of quality. The lack of simplicity in our consumption habits is neither good for our body nor for the planet.

My creations till now involve 12 variety of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, crude dried plants in bulk, massage balls (siam tampon), fagots of purification with sage.

natural products

Feuilles et Fleurs products in their new packaging

 

These natural products are for people who acknowledge the importance of health, that prevention is better than cure with chemical products, who are also environmentally friendly and want to learn the clean way of doing cultivation.

I am also looking forward to Feuilles et Fleurs conducting a workshop of 4 DIY sessions in collaboration with Wellness and SensiBio where participants will learn how to make their own cosmetic and cleaning products. The sessions are as follows:

5th February 2019: Sun’s cream and repair oil

26th February 2019: laundry, stain remover and dishwashing liquid

19th Mars 2019: deodorant, two kinds of toothpaste and makeup remover

9th April 2019: 3 soaps, powder shampoo + bar shampoo

workshop

The aim of this work is to be ecological, to reduce waste and also economic.

The Turbine Test Drive Programme was really beneficial to Feuilles et Fleurs. It made me realize the importance of structuring my company and gave me a more acute vision of the future.

Up to then, Feuilles et Fleurs was a very small company that I just liked working on, today, I have started taking action to make it a good and profitable business!

I never had any entrepreneurial training. As an incubated start-up at Turbine, I am really looking forward to all the experience and knowledge I will be getting through the coaching and workshops. I believe that it will help me avoid certain mistakes and guide me in making the best future possible for Feuilles et Fleurs. I understand that Turbine has a really good network too, and this will help me.

I am so thankful to Turbine for selecting Feuilles et Fleurs for the incubation program after Test Drive. I am really excited about the upcoming adventure!

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!

The Meet and Greet Mauritius event was for young African women who are keen on becoming financially independent and building a stable financial life.

This event introduced the sheVestor Africa community to women in Mauritius to create awareness on the importance of financial education in building financially stable young African women.

The Meet and Greet Mauritius offered the opportunity to learn, connect, be inspired and build a supportive network with an expert-led session of successful women entrepreneur who shared tips and hacks on the financial journey.