‘Mompreneurs’: Best small businesses for Moms
Moms wear many hats: chauffeur, nurse, chef, storyteller, slayer of monsters. Donning the entrepreneurial hard hat means adding another responsibility to your ever-evolving tasks. But those in the know say it can be done.
“Every mom is an entrepreneur by nature,” says Ianthe Mauro, founder of Objects With Purpose, a company that makes nontoxic candles that are sold online and in 200 stores across the country.
In both roles, you have to be willing to try new things, Mauro says. Every day as a parent, you have to take risks, pay attention to the information in front of you, process it and solve problems in creative ways. “How is that not an entrepreneur?”
Business ideas for ‘Mompreneurs’
If you’re a mom who wants to start a business — whether for reasons of flexibility, fulfillment or financial necessity — play to your strengths and passions. Here are ideas for a range of personalities and skill sets.
Creative moms: Freelance copywriter, Etsy artist or piano teacher.
Techie moms: Computer repair service, web design or coding contractor.
Healthy moms: Fitness studio owner, personal trainer, nutrition consultant.
Mathematical moms: Accounting service, tax preparation, bookkeeping agency.
Analytical moms: Consulting or referral services.
Educational moms: tutoring,
The rise of mompreneurship
Although adding “mom” to “entrepreneur” may seem like an unnecessary qualifier for women on the path to running their own businesses, it captures a specific segment of the market, one that allows women to utilize their many talents in two complex and sometimes overlapping areas of life.
“‘Entrepreneurship’ and ‘motherhood’ are two of the most revered concepts in this country,” says Jennifer Friedman, vice president of Wolters Kluwer’s BizFilings, which helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Perhaps, she says, that’s because they both describe roles that are difficult but potentially fulfilling. “Investors, business mentoring and entrepreneurship programs around the country can actively seek more ways to engage this fast-growing, unique and important market.”
According to the most recent Survey of Business Owners, conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau, women-owned businesses generated $1.4 trillion in receipts in 2012, up 18.7% from 2007. Not all female small-business owners are mothers, of course, but Friedman cites the growing mompreneur network, both online and in the real world, as evidence that many are. Organizations such as The Founding Moms and Business Among Moms offer support and advice to mompreneurs in the making.
“Running a house and running a business are very much the same,” says Cohen, president of the contractor referral company Home Remedies of NY Inc. and the creator of the Homeowner Referral Network. “It requires your attention all the time. You have to nurture it; it requires you to bring creativity and give it the proper attention.”
Candle entrepreneur Mauro says her motivation is tied directly to her children. “I wanted to show my children what it looks like to be a mom who also can support the family, sustain a business and create something that then sustains all of us,” she says. “I wanted my son to see what women can do; I wanted my daughter to see what she can do.” Her first two candles, Asher and Dahlia, were named after her children and are perennial best-sellers.
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