“We’re seeing that the number of women-owned
businesses has increased over the last 20 years, so
that now 50 per cent of owners are women.”
These are not just cute hobbies, either. Many
women-at-home businesses are making serious
cash, with annual sales in the $100,000 range, and
some in the millions.
They have begun businesses as at-home adver-
tisers, authors, attorneys and alpaca raisers; bakers
and beauty consultants; chefs, cleaners and cross-
word-puzzle makers; dress, diaper and decal design-
ers; employers and engineers; financial planners,
fitness trainers and furniture designers; genealogists
and graphic designers; home decorators; informa-
tion specialists and inventors; jewellery makers;
lifestyle coaches; marketers; news producers and
nurses; organizers; painters, pet sitters, potty train-
ers and private investigators; quilt makers; real estate
agents; singers, skin-care specialists and speech
therapists; taxidermists, T-shirt designers and toy-
makers; virtual assistants; Web designers, wedding
planners and writers.
The trend has become popular enough to
spawn its own subset of businesses and services.
Organizations and Web sites have sprung up to
serve the women behind these enterprises.
According to authors Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia
Cobe, who trademarked the term “mompreneurs”
in the United States, their Web site ( www.mom
preneursonline.com) dispenses advice and provides
resource links to millions of women each month.
Canada-based SavvyMom ( www.savvymom.ca) has
helped thousands of women to start businesses. And
momcafé ( www.momcafe.com), an event- and Web-based, women-only networking group, represents
the interests of working mothers across Canada.
“ A mompreneur is a woman who has kids and
starts her business so she can manage her own time
and balance work satisfaction and family life,” says
Costco member Isabelle Lipari, whose Quebec-based business Aveolancis Inc. (www.aveolancis.
com) helps corporations develop health and wellness programs.
No one definition
What do entrepreneurial moms look like?
MAY/JUNE 2010 ;e Costco Connection 19
wanted the flexibility to be
around while her four chil-
dren were growing up. With
her business, Stories Worth
“ A mompreneur is a mom who has stepped off
the traditional career path and who has decided to
make her own career choices,” says Diana Quinton,
a Costco member in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who
has developed a business called Stories Worth
Telling ( www.storiesworthtelling.ca), which helps
clients chronicle the stories of businesses, communities and families.
Women’s reasons for becoming entrepreneurial moms are as varied as their businesses. Some
were Fortune 500 business successes before
becoming moms, and they don’t want having a
baby to force them to leave the business world
behind. Others have time and creative talent on
their hands, and a need for extra income. And
many families need the money.
Telling ( www.storiesworth
telling.ca), the freelance
writer found an unfilled
business niche. “Storytelling
is part of our cultural heritage,” says the St. John’s,
Newfoundland, native, who
has chronicled everything
from family histories and
stories of new relationships to the events that have
shaped entire communities.
Her advice to would-be
mompreneurs: “Try not to
bite off more than you can
chew; enjoy the journey—the
kids will be off at university
before you know it!”
All of these women share a common desire not
only to satisfy a creative and financial need, but also
to remain in contact with their children. Family