with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
As a writer, I receive a lot of pitches from PR people trying to get me to write about their clients. Since I specialize in writing about women in business, I see my fair share of pitches with the term “Mompreneur” in them.
Wondering what the term “mompreneur” really meant, I did a quick search on Google and came up with several definitions:
Definition: A female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur (Entrepreneur.com)
Most definitions, however, are more specific and refer to women entrepreneurs who are work-at-home moms.
MompreneursOnline.com defines mompreneurs as work-at-home mothers and claim to have coined and trademarked the term in 1996 with their first Mompreneurs book.
So do we really need the term “Mompreneur?”
Maybe 10 years ago, it was catchy and cute, but as a female writer who writes daily about women in business, I have to admit I’m more likely to ignore a pitch with “mompreneur” in the email subject versus “female entrepreneur” or “woman business owner” because it just doesn’t sound credible or legitimate enough.
My gut reaction as a reporter is that “mompreneur” diminishes the very real accomplishments of a woman with kids who works at home on her home-based business. Many of the pitches that I receive about “mompreneurs” are actually extremely successful women whose home-based businesses gross over $1 million US per year. But I still get a knee-jerk reaction hearing or seeing “mompreneur” - it is yet another label that tries to package women’s accomplishments with just the right amount of cutesy and spunk. Bleeech!
Of course, this is coming from a woman who is still referred to in some circles as “Cybergrrl” and who started an international organization for women in new media called “Webgrrls.” Yes, 10 years ago, I thought I was being spunky coining those names. And yes, even back then, there was a backlash from women who told me flat out that they spent decades trying NOT to be called “girl” and wanted me to change the organization’s name to “Web Women.”
As a marketer, I can understand the desire to come up with a name or term that encapsulates a concept and that is catchy and memorable. That was my motivation behind Cybergrrl and Webgrrls. But just as those names rubbed some women the wrong way, “Mompreneur” really gets to me. And I’m a mom and an entrepreneur and I work from home! I just call myself an “entrepreneur.”
If I can’t take a “mompreneur” seriously as a feminist reporter and marketer, then what about the reporter who rarely writes about women - do you think he or she will reallyl be impressed with that moniker? I think we need to rethink overusing the term. Again, it was coined over 10 years ago. Haven’t we come a long way since then that we can now just be called “home-based entrepreneurs?”
I don’t think we have to go for “cute” anymore.
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