Mumpreneurship: Concept or a key to economic acceleration?

 Published in: Dhaka Tribune on September 24, 2019
Mumpreneurship: Concept or a key to economic acceleration?

Rubana Huq, a mother of three, was elected as the first female president of BGMEA Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Encouraging mumpreneurship will provide new opportunities for women to learn, grow, and develop
The term “mumpreneurship” means just what it suggests: Entrepreneurship by mothers.

Although it is not a new phenomenon, it represents a new concept in need of a theoretical definition backed up by pragmatic justification. The stigma towards women in entrepreneurship is at the core of several challenges faced by women.

Mumpreneurs are subjected to the same gender stereotypes as female entrepreneurs, but they must also overcome the stigma of being a parent. This distinguishes these individuals from female entrepreneurs, whose motivations are more or less diverse as most of these women do not have children.

Mumpreneurs are often motivated to move away from traditional forms of employment in the belief that it will be easier to achieve the desired work-life balance, through the elimination of various obstacles that have prevented them from spending time with their families.

This concept, although still in its infancy, will not only change the lives of mothers, it is also assumed to take a major role in challenging the economy of any country to new dimensions. It is often questioned by several male figures what a mother entrepreneur can provide to the economy. They barely have time for themselves. However, it is believed by new-age economists that motherhood is a source of rich experiences and skills.

Regardless of gender, every entrepreneur believes that successful entrepreneurship is a challenging task requiring deep commitment and unlimited amounts of motivation. Undoubtedly, mothers tend to be more dedicated because they are driven by their maternal instincts to earn for their children and family.

If we look at the founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Julie Deane is the unlikely fashion entrepreneur who invested just £600 to get her idea of making traditional leather satchels for the schoolchildren of Cambridge off the ground. What makes Julie’s story all the more special is that her entrepreneurial drive was inspired by a determination to send her children to a good school. A brilliant keynote speaker, Julie inspires audiences with her story and her commitment to preserve British manufacturing.

If we look for bright examples of mumpreneurs, we don’t have to look far. We have the bright example of Rubana Huq — the mother of three has proved herself to be quite the worthy wife of Annisul Huq by being elected as the first female president of BGMEA. She is an inspiration to many mothers out there.

She is also the current managing director of Mohammadi Group, a Bangladeshi conglomerate, and a trustee of the Asian University of Women. She is not only working for her family but also to inspire thousands of mothers out there to become visionaries like her.

Mumpreneurs are creating new and innovative work environments that cater to an evolving and modern workforce by participating in community and non-profit activities, significantly more so than male-led companies. The economic impact of increased female entrepreneurial participation is significant and holds the potential to continue to be a major driver of economic growth. One can only begin to imagine the significant impact that the continued increase of mother-led businesses can have on domestic job creation and economic growth.

Furthermore, as investors continue to seek opportunities to maximize returns on their capital, they would be wise to look toward mumpreneurships; studies show that, on average, female founded companies create over 60% more value for investors than those founded by men.

Mumpreneurs do not just win bread for themselves, they also create job opportunities for hundreds of other women who are still inflicted with the discrimination of male-dominated industries.

Successful mothers pave the way for education for future generations of girls. Mothers generally devote more of the household budget to education, health, and nutrition than men, so it comes naturally that when they are placed in decision making positions of an enterprise, their decisions would lead to gains in poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, consumer choice, innovation, and decision-making on a wider set of issues.

Successful mothers are more likely than successful fathers to own a business so they can pursue a personal passion and to make a positive impact on the world. Studies shows that women in Bangladesh are successfully operating micro enterprises and are successfully competing against men. This is partly because accessing finance and starting a micro enterprise as a mumpreneur in our country is not as difficult a process as the literature might suggest.

It is observed that women-owned small and medium enterprises globally tend to be concentrated in overall low profitable or low growth sectors. With the increasing number of mothers in business we can certainly be positive that in the near future we might observe a vast change in the earning potential of the underdog industries of the world.

Mumpreneurs are also finding that their project management and marketing skills can be used to raise money from each other for their businesses, thus making them more successful in crowd funding than men. There’s no doubt that mothers are equal to, but not the same as existing male or female entrepreneurs. But there is opportunity for greater economic advancement.

It is often observed that increasing numbers of women in working fields help eradicate discrimination in the workplace, making it a vital step in making the world economy richer and less prone to devastating financial collapses. If active mothers can cross over into male-dominated sectors, they can earn twice as much as in traditionally female led sectors.

Encouraging mumpreneurship to advance further and enter high profitability sectors, and thus changing the mindset of current economic visionaries and leaders of the business markets, will provide new opportunities for women to learn, grow, and develop entrepreneurial firms. By doing so, developing and under-developed countries can escape poverty and boost their economic growth.

Shayla Mahzabeen Audity is a student in the Department of Marketing of Jahangirnagar University.