Young mompreneur with two kids
Inside The Tampon Book. Photograph: Cedric Soltani/Studio Dropped
Yes, I’m a Mompreneur

Some entrepreneurs seem to have that lightbulb moment where idea meets opportunity in a one-in-a-million way. Think of fierce female founders like Sarah Blakely at Spanx, Jessica Alba at Honest Company, or Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal and Girlboss. Sometimes there’s adversity, sometimes there’s an unmet need – and sometimes it seems to be sheer brilliance that sparks success.

My path to becoming an entrepreneur did not involve glitz, glamour, or going viral. It actually started when I was on bed rest, pregnant with my second child. That’s part of the reason why I proudly own the label of “mompreneur.”

Women and Necessity Opportunity Entrepreneurship

There’s a lot written about necessity-based versus opportunity or innovation-based entrepreneurship. Necessity-based entrepreneurs typically create something out of a need – financial hardship, market failures, workplace deficiencies. I find it very interesting that women (and minorities) are more likely to be necessity entrepreneurs than men. The start-up rate for businesses founded by women and minorities exceeds the overall rate for new start-ups.

Yet, these groups are less likely to identify themselves as entrepreneurs.

Is it because profit isn’t the driving factor? Or perhaps because these entrepreneurs are more focused on doing great work or righting an injustice?

When I reflect on what sparked me as a founder, I can see how Avana may have started as necessity entrepreneurship and evolved to pivot into opportunity entrepreneurship.

The Idea that Sparks Entrepreneurial Action

As a young mother, I aspired to find the holy grail of passive income to build a flexible life. Creating a product or inventing something was not in the cards. Neither was appearing on TSC or in Oprah’s Holiday Gift Guide.

When I took stock of my strengths, I could recognize that I really liked numbers. Spreadsheets, projections, budgets – these may bring other people dread. But to me, finance has always been something I enjoy.

At the time, real estate was also something that I was dabbling in. By this point, I had already been renting out the house I lived in before getting married and having kids, and the idea of rental properties was something I also kept coming back to.

So, I merged the two into a business that could make a difference and let me design the type of life I wanted as a mom and entrepreneur.

The Evolution that Sparks Necessary Opportunity

While I started Avana with a flexible lifestyle in mind, I would describe our pivot to a purpose-led model of building affordable housing as more of a necessary opportunity. As I realized the unmet need for affordable housing in my city of Regina, I felt like we couldn’t stand on the sidelines. With shelters turning away thousands of single mothers and kids each year and Saskatchewan’s high domestic violence statistics, the need to provide a safe, quality place to live resonated with me on a profound level.

As a mom of four young kids, I couldn’t imagine the challenges and hardships faced by single mothers trying to take care of their children while staring down poverty or domestic abuse. Housing could be a significant leg up to building a better life, so I pivoted Avana’s real estate development vision to focus on building the affordable housing that is so urgently needed.

Seeing it Come to Life as a Mompreneur

I feel very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive husband who is my number one support at home and cheers me on at work. With this blessing, it was also important to me to architect a life to be a purpose-led entrepreneur who could be present with my kids. I am not an entrepreneur who has kids – I’m a mom who is an entrepreneur. And so, I wear the badge of “mompreneur” proudly and value what that means to my family and to me.

Further Reading…

A monthly dose of
unapologetic feminism
straight to your inbox.