Can women really have it all; a successful career and a balanced family life? Yes, of course. Here, the term ‘momtrepreneur’ is used to refer to stay-at-home mothers who have established their own businesses. These women are increasingly finding ways to express their interests and creativity. And while doing so they earn an income and also having the opportunity to spend time with their children. Momtrepreneurs need to be able to balance the stress of managing motherhood while running a business, which can be demanding if not managed correctly.
Female entrepreneurs are increasingly reshaping the global entrepreneurial landscape. According to the ‘Women-owned Businesses’ report by the Center for Women in Business, which analyses female entrepreneurs in the US, women are reshaping the global entrepreneurial landscape. There is currently a growing economic phenomenon of self-employed women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Women’s entrepreneurship has hit a media tipping point. Women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37 percent of enterprises globally: a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike.
While aggregated data is often challenging to find, the recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found 126 million women starting or running businesses, and 98 million operating established businesses. That is 224 million women impacting the global economy and this survey counts only 67 of the 188 countries recognized by the World Bank. These entrepreneurs have crossed the spectrum of micro to high growth from supporting life to creating wealth. They include hair salon owners, high-tech visionaries and everything in between, all making critical economic contributions.
Gugu Mjadu, an executive general manager in the marketing division at Business Partners Limited says South African women are increasingly starting small enterprises from the comfort of their own homes. With the rise of e-commerce, consumers are not only beginning to purchase goods online but are also purchasing services from external providers via online platforms. Mjadu says that this, in turn, is leading to numerous opportunities for stay-at-home moms who can now compete with larger companies. As the internet and technology evolve, it is now simpler and easier to start and run a business from home.
Finding a balance between running a business and running a family requires an honest appraisal of reality. To address existing prejudices and often unreasonable expectations, momtrepreneurs develop a skill set that includes context switching, multitasking, minute-to-minute efficiency, hyper focus, and transparent communications. It draws up a list of goals both for business and home life and keeps them top of mind to remain focused. A certain amount of time for family, friends, and self-indulgence should also be set and stuck to where possible.
Women entrepreneurs have an edge over male entrepreneurs. Edges matter to investors. One of the most obvious reasons to invest in women leaders is that women control the vast majority of household spending. So unless you are a business that is focused mostly on men, women are more likely to better understand customer perspective. Another is that women are often better at building long-term relationships than men. And lasting relationships benefit a business tremendously.
Momtrepreneurs are pleasantly surprised to learn that many of the skills required for running a family such as organizing, educating, communicating, collaborating, delegating, and multitasking are all indispensable skills in business. Entrepreneurial activity creates growth, prosperity, and solutions for social problems. And today’s trends show that women will be a driving force of entrepreneurial growth in the future.