For Justine Roberts, it came out of a disastrous family holiday. Wanting to find a simple way for parents to pool their knowledge and advice on trips and activities, they created Mumsnet, which has since grown into one of the most powerful blogging sites on the internet.
Justine’s leadership has seen the site grow over the last 14 years to become the UK’s biggest network for parents, generating more than 90 million page views and more than 19 million visits per month.
Although largely funded by advertising revenue, Mumsnet’s overarching aim is not the pursuit of profits, but to make parents’ lives easier in an ethical manner. In this vein, they have banned advertising from certain companies who do not match their vision, including junk food businesses and payday lenders.
The site’s focus on improving the lives of parents and children has led them to evolve and adopt a number of widely-backed agendas, which include helping businesswomen get back into the workplace and addressing the gender pay gap. Justine is especially proud of the everyday acts of kindness on the Mumsnet forums as well as the powerful campaigns led by Mumsnet members from topics as diverse as miscarriage care to libel reform.
The Mumsnet team is currently exploring innovative ways of leveraging their large user base to support high-growth potential early-stage businesses, many of whom themselves could have been born directly out of the work produced and community built by ‘Mumsnetters’.