Updated: Apr 11
As more and more mothers start their own businesses, the term "mompreneur" has become increasingly popular. While it may seem like a catchy and empowering term, there are actually several reasons why we should stop using it and focus on empowering all entrepreneurs, regardless of their gender or family status.
According to the 2021 Gender Equality Index, Ireland ranks 6th out of 27 EU countries for gender equality, with particularly high scores in the areas of health, work-life balance, and decision-making. If you were to pay attention to clickbait headlines and other social media platforms, you would think its a lot more gloomy.
According to a 2019 study by Dell Technologies, Ireland ranks 6th out of 50 countries for female entrepreneurship, with a high percentage of women participating in the workforce and favorable business policies.
The Irish government has implemented a number of policies to support working mothers, such as paid parental leave and the Affordable Childcare Scheme, which provides financial assistance for families to access quality childcare
And while, yes, we do have a long way to go and I am at the front row in trying to create impactful changes. Are we devaluing what moms who have businesses do by calling them mompreneur?
It can be limiting
When we use the term "mompreneur," we are implying that a mother's business is a side hobby or something that is done just for fun, rather than a serious and sustainable venture. This can limit the potential of a mother's business and prevent her from achieving her full potential.
It can be dismissive
Who here has been asked if there Instagram page is going well? The view that our business is a side to our parenting. The term suggests that her success is somehow less significant or legitimate than that of other entrepreneurs. This can be demotivating and prevent mothers from pursuing their business goals.
It can perpetuate gender stereotypes
It reinforces gender stereotypes by implying that mothers are only capable of running small, home-based businesses and like that is a bad thing? Whether you have a microbusiness where you are the sole worker or you run a multi-team global operation from your table. A business is a business and it does not deserve to be smeared because you happen to be a mom as well.
It can be exclusionary
Mompreneur also appears to be exclusive to a certain type of online business. It suggests that only mothers who chose to raise their kids and have a business can be successful in certain types of businesses, which can be exclusionary to people who are not mothers but may have similar goals and aspirations. This can limit the potential of entrepreneurs who do not fit into this narrow category.
It can undermine confidence
Calling someone a "mompreneur" can suggest that their role as a mother is more important than their role as a business owner, which can undermine their confidence and sense of self-worth. This can prevent mothers from pursuing their business goals and achieving their full potential. The truth is moms are capable of an infinite amount of love and ambition. We have unlimited capacity to grow our business while having the blend of family life we desire.
It can be patronizing
A business is not cute or quaint but something with value that has the power to create change. A business can fuel communities. Create a difference. It deserves the respect for the work that it takes.
It can perpetuate the myth of work-life balance
This can prevent mothers from pursuing their business goals and achieving their full potential. By blending the word mom and entrepreneur it sounds like what many moms are limited to doing is manageable. If you have ever tried to entertain a two year old while bouncing a baby on your hip and responding to an email, you may feel different. Its an unfair myth that makes moms new to business questioning why they find it so hard.
It can be limiting for fathers
There are dads who are doing the same thing. Running a business while also being acively involved in their Childs lives but we don't hear about dadpreneurs?
It is unnecessary
There is no need for a separate term to describe mothers who are entrepreneurs. Women can be successful entrepreneurs without being defined by their role as a mother. Instead, we should focus on empowering all entrepreneurs, regardless of their gender or family status.
In 2020, over 44% of new Irish businesses were founded by women. (Source: Enterprise Ireland)
Ireland has the highest rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in Europe, and women make up almost one-third of all early-stage entrepreneurs in the country. (Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor)
Despite progress, women still face challenges in accessing funding and part of this can be contributed to societal mindsets limiting women (and moms) thinking. However, there are several networks and initiatives aimed at supporting women in overcoming these barriers.
While the term "mompreneur" may seem empowering, it can actually be limiting, exclusionary, and perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Instead, we should focus on empowering all entrepreneurs, regardless of their gender or family status. By doing so, we can help mothers and fathers alike to achieve their full potential and build successful businesses that grow with their kids.