Barriers to Mompreneurship and how to overcome them

Women-owned small businesses create substantial growth and vitality to today’s economy and promise to be the driver of tomorrow’s business success. According to the US Department of Labor 1, 36 percent of all businesses in the US are women-owned, accounting for 12 percent of all sales and 15 percent of employment. In 2018, American Express 2 reported that around 1,800 new women-owned businesses were launched every day (US). To quote Queen B: “Who runs the World? Girls!”

As the media promotes stories of women as both successful mothers and career-minded, a distinct subset of women-owned businesses has arisen. More moms are gaining workplace confidence and taking economic control through the new normal of a mom-owned business. Of women-owned businesses, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 is owned by a mom which translates to about 4 million businesses in the US.3 This rapid growth brought about a new term to describe the phenomenon: Mompreneur. A mompreneur is a woman who combines running a business with running a household and being a mother.

The term mompreneur brings its own issues. The term itself, at its worst, can apear exclusionary and even sexist. It pushes aside women who face the same gender biases and similar struggles but happen not to be moms. The term also undermines the role that men and stay-at-home partners do play and should play in the home and childcare. However, there is no denying that women are disproportionately charged with managing the home and the kids. In a survey of US mompreneurs4, 71% serve as the primary caregiver to their children as compared to just 13% of male parent entrepreneurs.[i] When this responsibility is added to running a business, challenges abound.

Mompreneur, in the best sense of the term, represents moms bonding to develop an undeniable economic influence so much so, that even the language of business must adapt. In that sense, mompreneur becomes a badge of honor binding unique perspectives for business, economic and even social change and evolution. As a mom and a business-owner, that is what I embrace. Women are realizing that being a successful businessperson and a great mom are not mutually exclusive concepts. And, there are no signs of this trend stopping – making the Mompreneur a force to be reckoned with!

Speaking from my experience, being a Mompreneur has its own set of unique difficulties. To be successful, I recognized early that it pays to recognize and plan for those difficulties.

Written By Charlotte Wenham, pNeo LLC

Please read 5 Strategic Ways to Always Stay Innovative for more business tips. 

REFERENCES:

1 McManus, M.J. (2017). Get the Facts on Women Business Owners. Retrieved from https://blog.dol.gov/2017/07/05/get-facts-women-business-owners

2 American Express (2018). The 2018 State of Women Owned Businesses Report. Retrieved from https://about.americanexpress.com/files/doc_library/file/2018-state-of-women-owned-businesses-report.pdf

3 Lascala, M (2015). It’s Small Business week – Remember Monpreneurs. Retrieved from

https://www.workingmother.com/content/small-business-week-remember-mompreneurs

4 99 Designs (2017). New Survey Sheds Light on Reality of Todays “Mompreneur”. Retrieved from:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-mothers-day-survey-sheds-light-on-reality-of-todays-mompreneur-300456065.htm