Mom entrepreneurs typically start their businesses after their child hits school age, overwhelmingly serve as the household’s primary caregiver, regularly put in a “second shift” after kids go to bed, and are more likely to sacrifice working out and socializing with friends over missed family time. They are also significantly less likely to raise outside funding for their venture than male parent entrepreneurs, but often have the support of a network of fellow entrepreneurs.
These are just a few of the topline findings revealed in a recent survey by online graphic design marketplace 99designs that polled more than 1,290 male and female business owners with at least one child under 18 from US, Europe and Australia about various aspects of their business and personal lives.
Among the most notable findings in the 99designs Mother’s Day Mompreneur Survey include:
Majority of mom entrepreneurs started ventures at age 40 or older and still serve as primary childcare provider
Fifty-seven percent of mom respondents started their venture at or older than age 40, and 80% waited until having kids. The average age of these moms’ first child at the time they started their business was six years old. The vast majority of the women (79%) are married, and nearly all (95%) have a partner who brings in an income. Only 5% of respondents have three or more children – 79% have 1-2 kids, and more than two-thirds (71%) still serve as the primary childcare provider.
In contrast to these findings, of the male parent entrepreneurs surveyed, only 66% had a partner bringing in an income, and only 13% said they served as the primary childcare provider in the home. In addition, a lower percentage of men (61%) than women waited until after having children to start their business.
Mompreneurs put in “second shifts,” sacrifice hobbies and workouts – but not sleep or family time
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of female respondents admitted to at least sometimes putting in a “second shift” of work after the children go to bed, however, the majority (63%) still manage to squeeze in at least 6-8 hours or more of sleep per night. On the other hand, 88% of women polled say they spend fewer than 3-4 hours per week on any outside hobbies. Of the “sacrifices” most often cited, “less time working out” at 67% was followed closely by “less time with friends” at 64% – but “less time with family” was in last place at 54%.
Guilt is common – but “Flexibility” tops list of benefits of entrepreneur path for moms
Just like any other working parent, many mompreneurs admit to feeling guilt at least sometimes (44%) and less than a third (32%) said they “rarely” or “never” felt guilt about spending time on their business. However, on the positive side, 69% of the women cited “flexibility” as the number-one advantage of being an entrepreneur, and 63% of them say they have a network of fellow female entrepreneurs with whom to collaborate and commiserate.
Funding gap: Mompreneurs more likely to bootstrap their ventures
Significantly fewer mom entrepreneurs (19%) secured any outside funding for their business as compared to male parent respondents at 27%. This is consistent to the funding gap 99designs revealed in its last general entrepreneur survey released in March that showed twice as many male entrepreneurs had raised $100,000 or more in funding for their business than female entrepreneurs.
“Female-owned businesses account for 30 percent of privately held companies in the US, and these companies are expected to create more than 50 million new jobs nationwide by 2018. A growing number of these startups have a mom at the helm, and we wanted to take a closer look at just who these hard-working mom entrepreneurs are and how they do what they do,” explains 99designs Chief Marketing Officer Pamela Webber.
“Overall, what we see is that the picture of the long-suffering working mom stereotype doesn’t necessarily apply across the board. While a good proportion of women sometimes feeling guilt, it’s interesting to see that neither sleep nor family time seem to be getting sacrificed for their entrepreneurial pursuit. It could be that entrepreneurship is actually much better for working moms than traditional corporate jobs because of the greater flexibility. We’ll have to look at that comparison in the future.”
For more detailed findings from the 99designs Mother’s Day Mompreneur Survey, along with details about methodology and an infographic, along with interviews with several influential mompreneurs, please visit https://99designs.com/blog/business/mom-entrepreneur-infographic/