September 2011

Mompreneurs are a growing group of working Moms who create their own businesses are are highly successful at balancing the roles of mom and entrepreneur. They come from all walks of life, have varying educational backgrounds, have one or more children, have figured out how to develop and grow their own brand, and succeed as Moms and entrepreneurs.

Moms start businesses for a variety of reasons. Some want the flexibility of spending more time with their children. Others uncover a need - often inspired by motherhood - that no one else is filling. Whatever the incentive, the growth of women-owned businesses has soared in recent years. Women entrepreneurs are expected to create up to 5.5 million new jobs nationwide by 2018, according to the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute. This also goes to women looking and feeling healthy and fit.

As there is duality in all things - being a Mompreneur is not as easy as some make it sound. Combining the jobs of Mom and Business owner are two very complicated and delicate life roles. Thankfully, there are many examples of those that have accomplished the balance of family matriarch and home-business manager. Along with being a successful Mompreneur, women still need to have a reliable back-up system, so they don't get stressed out as all businesses - and all children - come with pressures - and demand time and attention. In a recession nothing comes easy - especially in business - as all shifts and changes at a moment's notice.

As a woman who was a full time mom for 17 years, raising three healthy normal children, I can tell you that each year in a child's life presents a whole new set of challenges, not to mention the role of wife or girlfriend. Much of the time there doesn't seem enough time in the day for everything, especially yourself.

At the end of the day, there's nothing like running and owning your own business and feeling in control of your life.

If you're thinking of starting a business because you've lost your job and need or want to return to work - make a business plan and go for it. If it's meant to be, it will fall into place easily and quickly. If not, walk away and don't put any more money into it, after you've determined how long you can run the business and wait for it to succeed. Think practically. If you are lucky - the business will be timed right and be successful. If not - it will fail and finances can wind up worse than before you started. Plan ... focus ... and consider the economy not just your need to manifest your dream into reality.

The more important and successful the job, the more time and dedication is needed to make it all work. It's never easy.

The list of successful Mompreneurs below came after years of long hours, much work, and sacrifice. Be careful and consider the needs of the people you live with and depend on. Never involve with drama people. Trust your instincts.

A Mompreneur is a neologism defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur. The term has a dedicated section on the website, there is a Canadian magazine devoted to the topic, and an MSNBC article declaring the rise of the mompreneur to be a hot trend in the small business sector.

WiseGeek observes that "the mompreneur movement is one steadily growing in the US as mothers try to find ways to make money, express their creativity or business acumen, and also to parent their children". Investopedia adds that "mompreneurs are a relatively new trend in entrepreneurship, and have come to increase prominence in the internet age, with the internet allowing entrepreneurs to sell products out of the home rather than relying on foot traffic to brick-and-mortar business.

U.S. News and World Report tries to dispel the myths around the mompreneur movement, including the belief that an innovative product idea will lead to easy money. Other examples of mompreneur coverage by major news outlets include the weekly advice column "Ask the Mompreneur" published by The Charlotte Observer website, the city's largest daily publication.

DIY Power Women: The World's Most Powerful Mompreneurs   Forbes - August 30, 2011

Power women come in all shapes and sizes - for our purposes, business executives, celebrities, politicians, media moguls and philanthropists - but for me one group stands above the rest: the entrepreneurial women who built their businesses while raising children to enormous success. These are the mompreneurs who brilliantly bucked stereotypes - and made bank in the process.

It should come as no surprise to regular Girl Friday readers that I have a penchant for founding stories - the "aha!" moment of inception when a woman becomes an entrepreneur. For many of the women IÕve interviewed here, that moment came when a problem was identified and an executable - and marketable - solution came to mind.

For these seven women, the problems were varied - Arianna Huffington needed an outlet for political discussion, Zhang Xin saw a void in the Beijing real estate market and Diane Von Furstenberg needed a versatile piece of clothing to complete her wardrobe - but the solutions were the same: "If it doesnÕt exist, do it yourself." Here, seven shining examples of Power Mompreneurs who make it work.

Tina Brown, mother of 2

In 2008 Brown, a former journalist, magazine editor, author and talkshow host, teamed up with billionaire Barry Diller to create a hybrid news aggregation magazine website. She quickly began drawing high-caliber talent including Christopher Buckley and Meghan McCain and by 2010 The Daily Beast was named one of TimeÕs 100 best websites. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Newsweek and Daily Beast would merge and Brown would retain the title of editor-in-chief of both publications.

Ariana Huffington, mother of 2

In search of a new outlet for political conversation, Huffington looked online in 2005, when she teamed up with Ken Lerer, a former Time Warner AOL exec. They each raised $2 million for a 24/7 news platform "with an attitude." It would also have a community element that, in Huffington's words, "would not generate into name-calling and ad hominem attacks." Since then, we all know what happened: in February Huffington accepted a $315 million acquisition offer from AOL, and she now sits as EIC of the merged newsroom: Huffington Post Media Group. In 2007, Huffington posted a conversation between herself and her daughters, then 16 and 18, on her site, discussing their fears and their relationships.

JK Rowling, mother of 3

This famous mum knew she had a story to tell, and despite extreme poverty and single motherdom, she managed to write it all down - daughter Jessica still too young to read. Rowling has since remarried and had two more children, a son and a daughter, both born into a post-Potter world, in 2002.

Jin Sook Chang, mother of 2

According to company lore, husband and wife team Jin Sook and Do Won opened their first retail shop, called Fashion 21 in Los Angeles, California in April of 1984. Sales skyrocketed in the first year to over $700,000, and the founders reinvested every six months to open a new store. Within five years it had become a shopping mall staple and now projects sales of over $3.5 billion for 2011. Her daughters, Linda and Esther Chang, run the marketing and visual display arms of the company, respectively.

Diane von Furstenberg, mother of 2

Responding to what she saw as a void in fashion for women, Von Furstenberg created a knit jersey wrap dress in 1972 that instantly became a classic. By 1976, five million dresses had been sold and the DVF brand became a licensing empire. The fashion mogul was a pioneer from the start, embracing TV shopping before her peers with the 1992 Silk Assets collection, and is even credited with being one of the first fashionable names to set up shop in New York CityÕs meatpacking district. She famously named a fragrance after her daughter Tatiana, then four, in 1975.

Cher Wang, mother of 2

Co-founded HTC as High Tech Computers in the late 1980s as a portable computer manufacturing firm, but the company's bread and butter these days is smart phone devices - it's estimated the company makes one in five smart phones on the market. In 2010 HTC reported $9.8 billion in revenues. While sheÕs seen her fair share of patent trouble, particularly contentious with Apple, sheÕs turned HTC into an indispensable ally of both Google and Microsoft.

Zhang Xin, mother of 2

The 46-year-old co-founded SOHO China, then called Beijing Redstone, in 1995 with her husband Pan Shiyi, and has since grown the firm into the largest developer of real estate in Beijing. As CEO of SOHO China, she also led the company to an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 2007, which has the distinction of being AsiaÕs largest commercial real estate IPO to date.