The challenges of balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood

There is an increasing interest in the topic of the ‘mompreneur’ and the recent research report LABOR AFTER LABOR published by Kauffman as part of its Series on Entrepreneurship and Motherhood, makes for interesting reading. The report found that aquarter of new entrepreneurs are between the ages of twenty and thirty-four, and nearly three-quarters of mothers of newborns are also in this age range. Women are increasingly considering entrepreneurship and motherhood at the same time in their lives. When mothers do choose to start businesses, they have different motivations than their male counterparts do, citing flexibility and work-life balance as motivating factors for them to become entrepreneurs. Autonomy and flexibility are huge motivating factors for those women who become entrepreneurs, offering them greater freedom to care for children whilst at the same time, providing the opportunity to build businesses, create products, and find new and innovative ways to solve societal problems through social entrepreneurship. One interesting aspect of the study found that entrepreneurship appeals to mothers because it offers them flexibility and control over their work hours, but not a reduction in the hours worked in the business. Ultimately, while entrepreneurship may promise autonomy and flexibility that appeals to mothers, the research suggests that in reality work-life balance is no easier to achieve for mother entrepreneurs than those who are employees or their male counterparts, and that the key to success is a strong support system.