Do Mothers Who Own Businesses Get Enough Respect?

By: Nancy Bilyeau · May 08, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Parenting and entrepreneurship are similar in that they both require a lot of time, effort, and attention. With Mother’s Day ahead this weekend, we surveyed 1,000 mothers who are also business owners to learn what motivates them.

For two-thirds of respondents, creating generational wealth for their children was a big reason they launched their business in the first place, but discrimination against working mothers was rampant, too. Here’s what else we learned.

Putting in the Work

Building a business takes time and effort, and the respondents of the survey performed for SoFi in March 2024 shows this, too. More than 60% of respondents said they had another job in addition to the business they own, and 26% still spent between 20 and 30 hours per week on their own company.

Nonetheless, despite the long hours, 86% of the surveyed mothers and business owners who had a second job said they want to devote themselves full-time to their own company eventually.

Discrimination Lingers

Small businesses are an important aspect of the U.S. economy. According to the latest Census data, women own 13.8 million businesses across the nation, employing 10 million workers and generating $3.9 trillion in revenue. Those businesses make up 39.1% of all U.S. businesses, a 13.6% increase from 2019 to 2023, according to the Small Business Administration .

Yet, while women-owned businesses are more prevalent in America than ever, some respondents confirmed that they experience inequity, with more than 60% of surveyed entrepreneurs saying they felt “judged by others for pursuing entrepreneurial goals while being a parent.”

More than two in five respondents (42%) said they felt entrepreneurs who are mothers are treated differently than entrepreneurs who are fathers. Only one in five (21%) said they thought mothers and fathers who owned business were treated equally.

Nearly half of the respondents said that such disapproval over their being mothers and business owners came into play if they sought financial support to grow their business.

Find the full findings of the survey here.

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