Moms at Work: Resources for Mom Entrepreneurs
As a working mom, you may be the boss at home, but most likely someone else is the boss at work. For many women this creates stress as they try to balance the conflicting demands of career and family. One way to solve this dilemma is to become your own boss.
Connie Glaser, author of 'When Money Isn't Enough' reports that many women start their own business so they can have "greater control over their personal and professional lives." You can work from home, work around your family's schedule and do something you love.
Running your own business is a big commitment, but it gives working moms flexibility and a high level of job satisfaction. If you've ever had the itch to start your own business, now may be the time.
Small business is growing
Entrepreneurship is a growing sector of American business. As part of the government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) received over $1 billion to get capital flowing again to small businesses. And as of June 2010, the Small Business Association reported that 11,543 loans totaling over $3 million were made to new businesses. and more than $1.8 million went to existing small businesses owned by women.
So how can you get up and running? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Be an inventor
Becoming a parent makes our lives busier, and we seek out solutions to streamline our lives. When we don't find those solutions, some moms create them -- and create a business in the process.
Tamara Monosoff invented the TP Saver, a device that keeps kids and pets from unrolling your toilet paper. She has said "the best way to invent a successful new product is to solve a common problem in a creative way." Monsoff is a prime example of being an inventor and an entrepreneur: She started out inventing a product, and used that experience to start a successful business. The company she founded, Mom Inventors Inc., provides a vast array of resources to help other moms bring their inventions to market.
BusinessInfoGuide has gathered a library of useful links to other entities that provide assistance to inventors. You can find links to information on topics from patents and trademarks to designing and manufacturing a prototype.
You can read more about mothers who have succeeded with their inventions in 'Cool Mom Inventions: Secrets of 76 Successful Mommy Inventors,' by Victoria Pericon.
Enter a competition
If you've used your creative or career talents to start a company, competitions are a great way to get noticed, get funded and get your business going:
StartUpNation sponsors the annual Leading Moms In Business competition, which ranks the Top 200 mom-owned businesses. They also offer an online community for women entrepreneurs and one for stay at home parents/business owners. Their website offers resources, directories, podcasts and advice about starting your own busines.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women competition "identifies and connects a select group of women entrepreneurs with the advisors, resources and insights they need to accelerate the growth of their business."
Connect with other women entrepreneurs
Finding the information you need can be half the battle when you're trying to get a business off the ground. Networking can be inspiring and incredibly helpful. Check out these resources:
Within the SBA is the Office of Women's Business Ownership, which establishes and oversees a network of women's business centers around the country. Women are offered training and counseling on topics that help them start and grow their business.
WomenEntrepreneur.com offers articles, advice and an online community where you can connect with other entrepreneurs.
Ladies Who Launch aims to "make entrepreneurship accessible to every woman" and provides resources by women to women.