“Mompreneurs” Giving the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval to new businesses.

//“Mompreneurs” Giving the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval to new businesses.

Giving the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval to new businesses.

I want to share with you this article that I found on the MSNBC Website.
The author Eve Tahmincioglu brings up some interesting questions for us to ask ourselves:

What does the term Mompreneur mean to you?
Are Mompreneurs more valid than the other entrepreneurs?
Do we choose to give business to a Mompreneur because she is a mom, or because she offers the best services, or both?
Do you think the term is necessary?
Do you define your self as a Mompreneur? If not, what term do you prefer to use?


Primary author Eve Tahmincioglu has been covering small business and entrepreneurship for more than a decade. She regularly writes about small business issues for the New York Times and BusinessWeek’s SmallBiz magazine. She also writes the Your Career column for MSNBC.com. She is the author of “From the Sandbox to the Corner Office.”


What the heck is wrong with the word entrepreneur? It’s a perfectly good word that has been around for a long time.

But nooooo, we can’t seem to leave well enough alone. It turns out moms who come up with a great business idea are no longer entrepreneurs. They are “mompreneurs”.

The cyber lore out there says “mompreneurs” are women who come up with a product or service while home with their children, and somehow stumble upon the idea because of a need they discover while taking care of the little buggers.

With that kind of reasoning, people who come up with a great idea at the local watering hole (which is where many great ideas are hatched), would be called “drunkpreneurs”, or “boozepreneurs.” You see where I’m going with this?

There are mompreneur magazines like The Mompreneur; books, including “Mompreneurs: A Mother’s Practical Step by Step Guide to Work at Home Success”; and websites such as Mompreneurs online.

Lately, PR people have been constantly pitching women-owned businesses for me to write about and using this label, which isn’t new but seems to be getting more popular these days. For some reason they think the business product or service isn’t quite enough to get my attention.

Well, it’s annoying. First off, it’s hard to say. It doesn’t have four syllables like entrepreneur so I find myself constantly saying “momtrepreneur,” but that’s not right.

Secondly, women are constantly complaining that they’re not treated equally when it comes to the business world, but they feel compelled to alienate a whole gender by making it seem like their accomplishments are that much more important because they experienced motherhood while crafting a business concept.

So do we want to be part of a club and label ourselves? I’m asking this about men and women.

I figured I’d ask a linguist. “There are lots of ways we use language to distinguish ourselves. It’s part of identifying ourselves as members of a group. It’s not surprising,” says John McCarthy, professor of linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

If a man came up with the word and started calling entrepreneur moms momprenuers, that would have been a major no-no, McCarthy says. But since it appears that women concocted the label themselves, it’s OK.

He calls the label and others like it “cute.”

OK, it’s cute, but will it last? McCarthy isn’t betting on it because rhythmically it doesn’t quite work. He suggests the word “mommypreneur” rolls much easier off the tongue.

Sorry, I don’t like that either.

Thank goodness, not all mommies are using the moniker.

Deborah Stephens Stauffer and Kathleen Whitehurst invented DaysAgo, a digital day counter that you attach to food containers so you know when something has been in the fridge too long. The idea was sparked by half-used baby food jars. You know, the ones that fill up the fridge when your kids are tots, and you take your chances using, hoping the mashed peas weren’t opened last month.

It’s a great idea and doesn’t need the “mompreneur” gimmick to sell, even though these gals are the perfect definition of the word. “Just because I struggle daily with juggling conference calls and nap schedules does not mean I am any different than other traditional entrepreneurs,” Deborah says.

Amen sista!

Aucun commentaire

  1. leap58 4 novembre 2008 à 9 h 23 min

    I never thought about the moniker mompreneur, until you brought it up. In fact, I don’t even think I was exposed to it much, and I follow marketers and marketing.

    I am not offended by it as Eve is. I just think it’s a branding gimmick, plain and simple. If a group of moms want to lump themselves into a category – that’s where they will stay. There may be some who are attracted to them because of the moniker and some who are repelled – that’s the price you pay for differentiating yourself.

    In fact, I say to Eve, get over yourself. Eve is part of the problem of a pervasively negative media. So what if a group of moms call themselves mompreneurs? I think the article just breeds more of negative feelings towards others. We really shouldn’t care one way or another about the moniker mompreneur. If it works for them – great. So be it. We need to stop worrying about what other people are doing and putting them down for such trivial things. Imagine the media without negativity – our world would really change.

  2. MaryPat 5 novembre 2008 à 1 h 59 min

    Leap58–I completely agree. Eve is part of the problem. I personally want to connect with other success-driven mompreneurs because we have a few issues that creep into our lives that other successful business owners do not.

    And sometimes, we even define success differently than these other people. And I am taking a stand for all moms who are driven to achieve success that includes NOT traveling the world because staying close to home provides a better lifestyle and it also includes a better education for my children so they can grow up and have choices.

    I include these goals in my definition of happiness and success instead of weekly trips to the spa and monthly vacations.

    As far as making good business choices–will I choose doing business with a mom over someone better. I highly doubt it.

  3. christinelewicki 7 novembre 2008 à 5 h 39 min

    Thank you Leap58 for your comment.
    I agree with you: if it’s serving you to call yourself a Mompreneur than go for it, if not, then don’t. I don’t think that Mompreneurs are less entrepreneurial than other business people, nor does the use of the moniker limit their growth potential. The term is used, I think, more as a means for these women to empower themselves, and to acknowledge and celebrate their situation. Personally, I prefer the more formal term, Mother Entrepreneurs, as it subliminally suggests a level of seriousness and dependability about the business.

    I agree with Eve that women and mothers have a tendency to stay among each other when networking and doing business: look at all the new women’s groups and web sites popping out everywhere! Sometimes we feel so comfortable with our peers that we end up being uncomfortable when we are in a business position among men. While it is great that we are creating ways to connect with other women and others Mother Entrepreneurs, we need to be mindful that life and business are inherently mixed up with all kinds of people – both female and male. Everyone should thrive and enjoy it together!

    I like to support Mothers Entrepreneurs, but will only buy their service if it’s the best and if I truly need it. So they better be great entrepreneurs!

  4. christinelewicki 7 novembre 2008 à 5 h 52 min

    Thank you, Mary Pat, for your comments. It is wonderful to connect with you! You sound like you have a very clear alignment of your personal and business goals. Christine

  5. Karri Flatla 7 novembre 2008 à 6 h 17 min

    The journalist has a point, albeit she’s being a tad poopie-pants about it. Basically she’s telling us not to pitch ideas to her using this terminology. Okay. I get that.

    But I would bet a lot of other journalists out there are actually seeking out the ‘mompreneur’ angle for their story lines.

    It comes down to audience awareness. Mompreneurs want to hear about other mompreneurs. Their clients may not want to hear about mompreneurs (or dirty diapers, sleepless nights and all that good stuff). Just depends on whom your talking to.

    It’s just marketing and perhaps Eve was taking it a little too seriously when she wrote that article 🙂


  6. christinelewicki 7 novembre 2008 à 21 h 32 min

    Thank you Karri for this great comment. You are right it’s a marketing issue.

  7. Amanda 12 novembre 2008 à 18 h 55 min

    I agree with a lot of what’s already been said in previous comments. I think one important think that Eve didn’t bring up in the article is that self-identifying as a mompreneur is a great way to find community online. The general small business space can be a little overwhelming because there is a lot of content out there, but looking specifically for other mompreneurs is an efficient way to connect and learn more.
    Thanks for bringing this article to my attention.

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