Fiona Holmstrom of Moreton Bay region business, STEM Punks, has been named as a finalist for the 2020 AusMumpreneur Awards in the Digital Innovation category, Rising Star category, and Making a Difference (Education) category.
The AusMumpreneur Awards presented by The Women’s Business School celebrate and recognize Australian Mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation. The awards are designed to recognize the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family.
STEM Punks offers classes both online and in-person to kids at home, and teachers in schools. The business has an Online Learning Platform, School Holiday Classes, After School Classes, School Incursions, Teacher Professional Development, a STEM store, a Magazine, and a YouTube channel. In late 2019, STEM Punks won the Telstra Business Award in the Emerging and Energised category for Queensland.
STEM Punks was created to provide kids and adults with a mindset of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to solve the problems of tomorrow, today. There was a need to bridge the gap between ideas and valuable outcomes, and to give students an ability to apply STEM skills in real world problem solving.
From coming up with the name STEM Punks to designing the logo with the now-famous robot, and running classes from home, Fiona says the business has grown exponentially, especially this year. Initially, seeing the need in the market for quality STEM Education for children that provided them with learning outcomes that were aligned to the National Curriculum, not just entertainment, was uppermost in deciding that STEM Punks had a really solid offering to the market. What started out as market testing with the local community had such a rapid uptake from parents and teachers that the business had to scale up and spread across Australia.
Fiona is delighted to be named as a finalist and is proud of her achievements, particularly at the height of the pandemic, when STEM Punks transformed their business to an online model, started free Live Broadcasts, and quadrupled their social media following, gaining a global audience.
There are many benefits to balancing business and motherhood as Fiona explains, “The flexibility in running your own business, working from home, and answering to yourself, has huge appeal where young children are involved. I can do the school run but still have a full working day as well. Being a role model to my children is so important; because it’s demonstrating to them that they can do anything they set their mind to. All three of them (aged 6, 6, and 8) have recently asked if they can start their own businesses.”
It can be challenging to be a successful business woman whilst raising a family and Fiona gives this advice for others thinking about starting their own enterprise, “Absolutely do it. But have a plan. Not just a business plan, but a marketing plan is essential for the long haul. Get help to implement this if it’s not your strong point. Insource where you can to save money - but absolutely outsource the important things like good marketing and financial plans and advice. Be aware of the pitfalls. Arm yourself with advice from people who have done what you are setting out to do. Do your due diligence. Ask questions. Think creatively. Join women in business and mums in business networking groups. You’ll find likeminded women who genuinely are happy to help. A strategic growth plan is also critical for mapping out the first five years. Make big audacious goals by all means, but make sure there are attainable mini-goals to achieve along the way.”
The winners of the 2020 AusMumpreneur Awards will be announced at an online event in September. Vote for STEM Punks in the People’s Choice Award here in the Making A Difference – Education category: