Bridgeton mum Margaret Totten isn't invited into the "old boys' network" on the golf course.

The suited business people she meets at networking events seemed to take umbrage with her boho dresses and casual style.

And don't get the social media marketing guru started on fitting the school run into a crammed business diary.

"I eventually found this website and they had all these business events that were really mum-friendly. And I thought that sounds perfect," said Margaret.

"I clicked on it and they were only in London, which I got very annoyed about."

Now the 34-year-old entrepreneur has launched the first Scottish branch of a website dedicated to helping mothers either starting out or in established businesses.

Margaret and a team of like-minded mums from across Glasgow are working together to roll out as a local hub of support, advice, training and networking opportunities.

Most importantly for Margaret, its meetings are open to children and at times that will suit parents.

The Motivating Mum website was established in London by Alli Price with the support of Rachel Elnaugh from the original Dragons' Den line-up.

It provides everything from start-up advice and legal services to ideas for marketing and sales.

Margaret has taken on the first franchise in Scotland -–and will soon launch her enterprise at its first event, a networking lunch on September 7 at the Esca restaurant in the Merchant City with tickets costing £25.

The birth of Margaret's only child, Robert, now five, was the impetus to branch out on her own.

Robert was born 16 weeks prematurely weighing just 1lb 1oz – and the infant spent more than five months fighting for his life in intensive care at Wishaw General Hospital.

"He was teeny – my wedding ring fitted right up his arm. We were told it was touch and go for a long time," said Margaret, who previously worked nine-to-five in business analysis, marketing and IT.

Her priorities had changed on returning to work, so earlier this year she decided to capitalise in the growth of the social media marketing sector and establish Social Climbers (

In addition to training small to medium companies in use of Twitter and Facebook, it also provides virtual office support like PA services and event management.

"It means I can take my little boy to school and I can spend a bit more time with him," she said.

Margaret estimates that around 70% of her business is gained through networking and word-of-mouth.

The Motivating Mum sideline won't make her much money, but she hopes it will increase the contacts and ideas available to women like her.

"It's about building relationships," she added.

"Males are allowed. A couple of our members are completely childless, but their target demographic is females or mothers.

"I really want to get this started because I think it's something that mums all need."

Starting a family was also the motivation for entering the business world for two of Motivating Mums' first members, Angeline Dickson and Cheryl Ryder.

Cheryl, 32, who lives in Kilbirnie in Ayrshire, is at the start-up stage of her business, Dribble Delights (, to offer dairy-free food for babies and toddlers.

It was inspired by her three children, who are all lactose intolerant.

The symptoms of her eldest child, Sophie, now four, drove her to the hospital one night where the doctor calmly said that the red strands she had been finding in her nine-month-old daughter's nappy were stomach lining.

After removing dairy products from her diet, Sophie's symptoms disappeared within weeks. It was the same story for sons Craig, two, and Callum, 11 months, diagnosed at five months and three months-old respectively.

"As each child has come along, I haven't found it easier to deal with," said Cheryl.

"I can't buy them chocolate or any nice wee quick treats out of the shop.

"Out of the huge variety of products that the baby food industry has, you'll find milk or you'll find dairy in products that you wouldn't imagine it to be in."

She and sister Gillian McDonald decided to lay the foundations for a range of dairy-free meals and snacks, which she hopes will one day be sold in supermarkets.

She recently made it to the Scottish final of small business competition The Pitch 2011 and is in the process of fine-tuning recipes with nutritionists before speaking to manufacturers and distributors.

"It has given me the confidence to think that there is merit in this idea," added Cheryl.

Meanwhile, Angeline has used her experiences of battling post-natal depression to set up a blog, Helping Hands, which she hopes to soon extend into a concierge, cleaning and babysitting service.

The Cambuslang mum's site ( had more than 1200 viewers within one month of her setting it up.

Around 10% to 15% of new mums will experience post-natal depression, but Angeline had her symptoms dismissed by a midwife as "baby blues".

"I said: 'I'm crying all the time, I don't want to leave the house, I don't want my daughter,'" said Angeline, who moved to Glasgow from Ontario in Canada as a teenager.

"I had visions of leaving her at the doorstep at the hospital. I would shout at her. I would swear. It's shocking to say things like that but if you've been through it you know it's a normal reaction to the emotions that you're feeling.

"It doesn't make you a bad parent. It's actually made me a better person and a stronger person."

Angeline, 34, combines volunteering with Rape Crisis in Glasgow, working at NHS 24, and studying for a counselling qualification with looking after daughter Madeleine, four.

"My vision is to create something that will help mums who have just come out of hospital who are experiencing these feelings," she added.