The term ‘Mumpreneur’ has had a lot of mixed press lately. I’ve been asked to comment on several articles and even had the pleasure of being featured on BBC Woman’s Hour as an advocate for it (you can listen here, the segment starts at 21.05)
I was quite shocked at the strength of negativity from some corners. People commenting that the term “keeps women small”, “keeps women in the home” and is “patronising”.
To me, ‘Mumpreneur’ is not a job title. It’s a term that describes the lifestyle I have chosen to lead. What that means is, that I have chosen to leave the corporate world (in my case TV production) to create a business which I love but that also means I get to pick my kids up from school at 3.30pm, take time off easily for hospital & dental appointments and school holidays, and that generally means that, when needed, I can put my kids first without the guilt of having to answer to a boss.
For me, being a ‘Mumpreneur’ means that I am in control of my work/life balance.
How does this “keep me small”?
Working from home was a choice that I made, and it gives me so much more freedom than I ever had when working full time for a boss. So the idea that being a mumpreneur “keeps me in the home” is quite perplexing!
Some commented that they hadn’t been taken seriously and had been labelled as a ‘Mumpreneur’ against their wishes. Obviously perception needs to change and we need to have more visible role models of successful women in business, who are also working around their children.
Just because I choose to combine running a business with my duties as a mother, does not make me any less ambitious as a business woman. We should not be underestimated.
Whether you agree with the term or not, the rise of the mumpreneur cannot be disputed, with an estimated 594,000 women in the UK starting businesses after having children. We need to support these women as they startup and grow their businesses, and by having the term ‘Mumpreneur’ it allows them to find that support, and most importantly, communities like mine.
Last week I was invited to take part in a discussion, hosted by The Mumpreneur Networking Club, as part of the EU funded FEMME project, looking to improve the support for mums starting businesses whilst being the primary carer for their children.The thing I love most about working in this industry is the collective feeling that we are all in it together, collaboration is the name of the game, and that couldn't be more true spending time with 12 amazing women on this panel, all running thriving communities for mums in business. There was no competition, only a desire to lift and empower other women.
We really are on the edge of a revolution where we will have more opportunities to work flexibly and create a much healthier work/life balance. I’m proud to be part of that movement and will continue to be a champion for mums in business.
My message is simple - having children doesn’t have to mean the end your career - you might just want to redesign it. And we are lucky to live in the most incredible time where that is absolutely possible.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the term and whether you find it to be positive or negative!
Do you resonate with the term 'Mumpreneur'? Join our 2,000+ strong community over in Making Mumpreneurs Club.