Microsoft Canada

Microsoft Canada

May 07, 2007 08:00 ET

Today's Moms Are Doing It for Themselves

Mommy-Owned Businesses are on the rise

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 7, 2007) - After years of trying to balance work with motherhood, Kari Smith left her corporate job behind to start her own small business. It's been over a decade since this mom-entrepreneur began making cakes out of her family's kitchen. In that time, she has managed to grow Magical Moments & Elite Party Rentals into a full-fledged wedding planning and rental operation.

Statistics show that these kinds of Mommy-Owned Businesses are on the rise. Many women say they can't find work that allows them to balance their responsibilities at home. Indeed, according to a national survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of Microsoft Canada, 54 per cent of female small business owners agree that being able to work at home to raise their family was a key reason to leave the corporate world behind.

"Being a mom-entrepreneur means trading a typical 9-to-5 work week in for a more irregular routine," says Gemma Moore, a busy mother of two who owns and operates MG Moore Designs, a graphic design company specializing in website, photography and print media. "Finding a business that you can build in the evenings will allow you to spend time with your children during the day until they head to school."

Ninety-two per cent of female small business owners say that mobile devices and computer software can help a mom-entrepreneur make her own hours and work whenever she is most productive. In fact, 95 per cent agree that small business owners need to be more technology-savvy than ever before.

"Balance is a key factor for most entrepreneurs, but this is especially true for women," says Ruth Bastedo, President, Women Entrepreneurs of Canada (WEC). "Entrepreneurs recognize that today's technology can help them to find work/life balance while still providing them with the tools and resources they need to grow their businesses more efficiently and effectively."

Smith says she turned to technology to help organize her day and meet the needs of her customers. Microsoft Small Business + (, a free online resource that provides access to business and software training, helped her to get the most out of her productivity software.

Productivity is a key factor for mom-entrepreneurs when making IT purchasing decisions. Smith says her recent upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista is saving her hours a week, thanks to the improved search functions in Microsoft's newest Operating System. She estimates she now spends only one business day a week in front of the computer instead of a day and a half.

"Leveraging my software to its full advantage helps me to get my work done in less time, so I can get back to focusing on my children," says Smith. "It helps me to stay competitive and strike the right balance between my work and my family life."


When deciding to start a Mommy-Owned Business, consider the following:

1) Being a mom-entrepreneur means trading in a typical 9-to-5 work week in for a more irregular work schedule. Finding a business that can be operated in the evenings will allow you to spend more quality time with your little one during the day.

2) An investment in mobile technology can help you to find more flexibility so you can balance your business with pleasure.

3) Learning how to use your productivity software to its full advantage can help you become more efficient and free up more time.

4) While you may be saving money on childcare, many small businesses don't make a profit in the first year. Make sure that your household needs can still be met before taking the plunge.

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