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by Claire Martinsen on Tue 13th Dec 2011 07:47

The word ‘Mumpreneur’ has made it into the Collins English Dictionary in the lastest edition, so seems to be here to stay.  I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the term, and generally oscilate about how I feel towards the tag.  Overall it brings out negative thoughts in me…..

Mumpreneur describes someone who ‘combines bringing up children with running a company’. 

And that’s me!  Having children was also the driver behind setting up the business.  If I hadn’t  had children, then I would still be a corporate bunny working for large business.  It was having my two children that made me reappraise my working life.

So what annoys me about the term?

– There isn’t an equivalent male term………and that leads to the misconception that men who set up businesses are serious about them, whereas women who set up business are somehow kind of ‘flaky’, having a bit of a dabble and not as serious.  [I’m no feminist, but there are some really serious female entrepreneurs out there, and implying that they aren’t serious is an insult]

– Being described as a mumpreneur also suggests that the if there was a childcare disaster then the business would be ignored for the sake of the childcare.  That somehow the focus is on the small people rather than on the business – that the business is a kind of by thought. 

– There are millions of parents out there juggling work and childcare – the vast majority of these work in established businesses rather than as entrepreneurs.  I can’t think of an HR department that would put a ‘tag’ on their staff who have children [even more not those women who have children]. Giving female entrepreneurs with children a ‘tag’ seems bizarre as a result.

Overall, its been interested setting up a business as a female……..I’ve experienced quite a lot of ‘sexism’ which I am sure wasn’t intentional, just peoples misconceptions.  At Trade Shows an ex-colleague often helps out, and if he is on the stand then people will automatically think that he’s the owner of the business.  There are lots of other examples – including how most people believe that my husband is financing the business [!!], or there must be male backers behind the business [nope!].  Its probably tougher to make it as a female entrepreneur than it is to climb the corporate ladder.

I run a business that I am deadly serious about………I work hard, I  play hard, and I juggle childcare on a daily basis…..but I’m certainly not looking for any favours or excuses.  I’d describe myself as a micro-business owner, rather than a mumpreneur.

The tag probably works for some people and some female business owners, but not for me.  I’m an individual, a wife, a god mother, an aunt, a business owner, a keen cook and baker, a friend, a business owner……..ooh and a mother!



Posted in: Women and Business


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