Ever heard of a dadpreneur? Neither have we. So should we ditch the mumpreneur label and just call ourselves entrepreneurs? We asked these 'mumpreneurs' for their verdict...
Times are a-changing, and the struggle for equality and equal pay for equal work is far from over; in many sectors, the fight has barely begun. As a society, we are moving away from gender-specific terms to be more inclusive for everyone. Should the same be said for ditching gender-specific labels like ‘mumpreneur?’ Or is this an empowering recognition of the challenges faced by women who choose to be both business owners and mothers?
We decided to ask the ‘mumpreneurs’ from Launchpad exactly what they thought about the label. Do they think it’s helpful to share with others that they’re balancing work and family? Or is mumpreneur just unnecessary? Here’s what they had to say…
The Mumpreneur label: is it a help or a hindrance?
“I do not believe in classifying people with labels”
‘Dadpreneneur?’ Has anyone heard this phrase? I had not. I am not particularly fond of the term mumpreneur. It evokes the same reaction in me when someone refers to a woman who is a C-suite as a ‘Female CEO’ or ‘Female CFO’. Why should her gender be mentioned?
Our conscious mind looks for implicit ways to connect with someone new and leans on our subconscious mind to associate the person with our past or current understanding of whom we think we are. Sometimes, this inhibits a more open and exploratory conversation to listen and understand them as people. I do not believe in classifying people with labels, as our world already has enough subconscious biases and beliefs. Why would we contribute to putting people in classified boxes?
I am a mother and now an entrepreneur. Life is as challenging and perhaps more fulfilling as it was when I was a global media professional. Being a mother is important to me, as is my coaching and well-being business. I love myself in each of these roles, and I think it is important to have boundaries in life. Combining these two roles brings more biased perceptions that are challenging to navigate away from once these are decided. Why would I do this to myself, prevent growth, and allow others to judge me before even getting to know me?
Priyanka Tiku Gupta, SHE Coach and Founder
“I choose to use this label for myself and feel proud that I am able to achieve being both a business owner and a mum”.
As an entrepreneur and a mum, I find this label to be such a positive one. For over a decade, I was a stay-at-home mum, everything was for my kids, and my husband and I felt like I was losing my identity. But last year, I took the courage and plunge to start my own yoga and activewear business. When I was first labelled a ‘mumpreneur’ in a media feature, I was really proud. I’d added another amazing role to my life, becoming a business owner besides being ‘just mum.’
I don’t see ‘mumpreneur’ as being a hindrance but rather a positive label. I choose to use this label for myself and feel proud that I am able to achieve being both a business owner and a mum. Wearing different hats in both roles has definitely been a challenge.
As a mumpreneur, I think other women can trust and possibly relate better to me and see that I am trying to accomplish something I am passionate about, being able to fulfil my career dreams whilst still being available for my family. A typical 9-5 job schedule wasn’t something I could commit to, so it was inspiring and uplifting to see other ‘mumpreneurs’ accomplish this, and it gave me the courage to reach for my goals too. I hope this label continues to be seen as positive, encouraging and inspiring.
Jiwon Maxted, CEO, Flow With Me HK
“Being a ‘mumpreneur’ represents the balance I am able to keep in my life between work and family”.
I am very proud of my mumpreneur label – it’s exactly why I started my own business because it gives me freedom to work on my mission as Biek, be present as a mother, and have loads of family time. Coming from the fashion industry filled with hefty deadlines and allocated time off for the design team, being a mumpreneur helps me to create freedom to travel (now that we can do that again, yay!) during the holidays to make precious family memories.
That is not to say that it always comes easy. Currently, I work three days, and our one-year-old goes to daycare. My business doesn’t grow as fast as I would like it to because time is simply limited. I cannot take on as many clients because the calendar availability is limited due to the boundaries I have put in place to protect my time with my family.
I’m very strict about not working in the evenings or on the weekends so that I can create enough presence for my husband, the headspace I need for the next day of work or a day with my tornado of a son. It’s important to be strict about that because I am so passionate, and I could go on and on, meaning I will become an absent mother or wife — which is something I really don’t want.
My biggest dream was to become a mother, and I wear my mumpreneur label with pride. For me, it represents the balance I am able to keep in my life between work and family.
Biek Speijk, 37, Wardrobe Curator & Artist, Biekaleidoscope
“Being a ‘mumpreneur’ doesn’t mean you work less or take it easier; unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way.”
The word mumpreneur has become very popular, and we hear it all the time. In my eyes, it just means you are a woman (Mom) who knows what she wants and knows how to prioritise and manage time for her business and her family. Being your own boss and working for yourself gives you the flexibility and options to manage your time, but it doesn’t mean you work less or take it easier. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way, and often, this label has a bit of a negative note to it.
We do not hear the word ‘dadpreneur’ used frequently, do we? They are businessmen, founders, and consultants who are also fathers. We can do both with great success, have flexibility and time with family, and run our businesses successfully without being put in a box with a label.
Linda Morrison, Founder and Creative Director of MiliMilu
‘Mumpreneur’ simply communicates that I successfully hold down two full-time jobs, as a business owner and a mother”.
As the owner-operator of a woman-focused business, being a mumpreneur is a label I wear proudly. My work specialises in helping women navigate the uniquely female transitions of pregnancy, postpartum, and peri/menopause, and I believe that having direct experience with these transitions – and the hormonal, physical, and mindset changes that go along with them – is something worth mentioning when it comes to my business.
Mumpreneur, to me, simply communicates that I successfully hold down two full-time jobs – as a business owner and a mother – and that I am confident enough in both to give them equal weight in my self-identity. If using the term mumpreneur means that others presume my business is a “side gig” or a “hobby,” I’m willing to use that as a starting point for a corrective conversation about what it really means. In my opinion, it doesn’t harm our community to be labelled a mumpreneur; rather, it draws attention to the fact that we don’t have to choose between identities; we can embrace all of who we are in business and in life.
Amanda Lim, Founder, Coach Amanda Lim
“The ‘mumpreneur’ label is a true depiction of the balance (and chaos!) in my life”.
Labels are what you maketh of them. I wear the mumpreneur label with pride as it truly reflects two very significant roles I play- two roles I strive to excel at. It really is a true depiction of balance (and chaos!) in my life. With polarised views out there on why ‘mumpreneur’ may be restrictive a term to define a person, I believe that it gives a precise snapshot into my life, where I juggle two jobs. One driven by passion, and one (unpaid, of course), driven solely by love. All this out of choice.
Being a full-time mum and a business owner does come with a fair few challenges, but the learnings and skillsets you acquire in the process are complementary. It’s the insights you bring to the business as a mother and the focus and time I can share with my kids when ‘off-duty’ that is extremely rewarding.
The only thing I would like to really achieve by calling myself a ‘mumpreneur’ is to be able to inspire every mum out there to follow their dream and drive to own and run a business, irrespective of age. As they say, own your cadence, own your success!
Ankita Singh, Co-Founder, Milestone
“I’m a mumpreneur at heart, and I am proud to shout it out!”
I have four children. This is a statement that stuns. I also have my own business. This follow-up statement not only stuns but leaves most people speechless. To be honest, this reaction always makes me proud. I gave up my own career to raise our children and support my husband’s career, which moved us around the world. It has been a long and painful journey to acknowledge and accept this fact.
But now our family is complete, and I’m ready again. Hello world, here I come! I combine the best of both worlds. To me, children and business are very similar. Both require hard work and a lot of commitment. Both need a lot of money, time and patience. For both, the small successes are celebrated just like the big ones. There are moments of gratitude that move you to tears, and you can never be without them again! I’m a mumpreneur at heart, and I am proud to shout it out!
Dana Wolf, Feng Shui and certified Marie Kondo Consultant, @anjialivingcom
“Behind every small business is a family”.
We wear the mumpreneur label as a badge of honour! As women, we’re amazing at supporting lots of people, starting from our families or friends to total strangers we meet every day. As entrepreneurs, we know the ups and downs of working for ourselves, and when a friend or even another woman entrepreneur launches a business, we’re there with bells and whistles. And, further, if it’s a mumpreneur in business, how could we not support and tell all our friends about her?
We are business besties, and we spent a lot of 2021 supporting so many women-owned businesses here in Singapore. If they were hosting a pop-up, we were there, even if we had to book in advance (to adhere to regulations allowing only five people to congregate at any one time!)
Friends’ birthdays, Christmas gifts, and something fun for ourselves were all bought at small-business fairs up and down the country. We also did ‘Small Business Saturday’ posts on our Instagram page for months and months, promoting others’ endeavours. And the best part is that we loved every minute of it and have met some incredible women here in Singapore, and have made new friends for life! Behind every small business is a family!
Mangla Sachdev and Miriam Acquaah-Harrison, Directors, Printsipal Printing Pte Ltd
What do you think about the mumpreneur label? Let us know! [email protected]