The piece kicked off a bit of a debate about the term ‘mumpreneur‘. Critics of the term see it as derogatory and sexist.
But me, well, I’m a mumpreneur and I’m proud of it. Let me tell you why.
I have no desire to be referred to, thought of as or belong to the generic group named ‘entrepreneur’. No thank you! I’m part of something much more specific, much more special. I’m one of a growing group of people on this planet who go so much further than being ‘someone who designs, launches and runs a new business, usually with considerable initiative and risk’ (thanks Wikipedia). God, by that definition I could be a drug dealer. Or Donald Trump. Not sure what’s worse.
Nope. I’m part of a group that is next level to the standard entrepreneur who puts a new idea out in the marketplace for profit. We do that, of course. But we do it for the benefit of other mums.
All the mumpreneurs I know? They were driven to take the quite phenomenal leap into the world of business ownership by a burning desire to make life easier for other mums than it had been for them. To provide something helpful, even something essential, for mums, where before there was nothing.
Take my business. It’s all about sending fresh meals instead of flowers as a new baby or get well or ‘sorry life is rough right now’ gift. I created my business so other mums would not have the experience I had, of trying and failing to look after my own health and wellbeing after having a baby.
Another mumpreneur in my tribe established Australia’s first co-working space with onsite childcare, so other mums freelancing didn’t have to try to work from their (probably messy) kitchen table while simultaneously looking after their young children. I could go on and on. The examples are numerous and some of them are absolutely outstanding contributions not only to mothers but to the wider world. We all know that when something benefits a mum, it almost always benefits those around her too. Mumpreneurism is good for the whole community.
Another thing that marks us out? We do business not by trying to fit into the standard mode in which business has traditionally been done. We disregard the old ways pretty much completely.
We don’t manage it ‘somehow’, or ’even though’ we have children we are often the primary carers of. We integrate our children into our lives as business owners. We don’t network at events that clash with school drop off time. Because the events we’re interested in are usually organised by other mumpreneurs and so they don’t MAKE them at times we can’t attend. We don’t scramble for childcare to make it to a meeting with a potential new client or supplier or collaboration partner. We bring our kids and we are comfortable with it and confident that it won’t be a problem. Because frankly, if you’re put off by the presence of a child? We don’t want to be in business with you.
So yeah, I’m a mumpreneur. Hell yeah! I started my business with a passion to help other mums, I do business and be a mum and make a difference in my community all at the same time – there is no taking one hat off and putting another one on.
That’s what a mumpreneur does and who she is. And I couldn’t be more proud to be in that club.
Kate Ritchie has the great blessing of being mum to two glorious rascals, wife to a wonderful man and owner of Melbourne business Let Lulu. She is on a mission to create a revolution in the way we treat new mums and especially to encourage people to send food, not flowers! She loves belting out 80s movie soundtracks in the car, rollerskating and trampolining and knows with absolute certainty that one day she will meet Ellen and they will become BFFs.
Welcome, parents, to the slightly-sticky world of This Glorious Mess.