MomSource provides tools, training and resources to women that can help them stay engaged during a career break, return to work when they are ready or find flexible employment.
Name of Company: MomSource Network
Location: Founded in Knoxville, TN
Product / Service Offering: Professional Development, Networking and Flexible Employment
Co-founder Interviewed: Courtney Jones
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?
I’m a woman, a professional and a mom. All of those things are equally important to me yet professional women are continually punished for taking a break to prioritize their families. In fact, a woman who takes a 2-3 year career break will sacrifice 30% of her potential lifetime earnings. That’s wildly unfair and I believe that MomSource Network will be the catalyst of change.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
MomSource Network was founded in Knoxville in August of 2013. While I was lucky enough to have an employer who valued me enough to offer flexibility after the birth of my children, I kept finding that other women were struggling to find an opportunity to contribute to a professional setting while still being available for their families. Originally, I introduced a couple of talented women that I knew to potential employers and before long women that I had never met were reaching out to me asking if I could help them find flexible work or negotiate with their current employer. The problem was so widespread that I believed that we could create a platform that would help these women find opportunities to stay engaged professionally while allowing them the flexibility to be available for family.
Learn more about the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of Knoxville here.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
MomSource Network is not a job board but rather a network. We provide tools, training and resources to women that can help them stay engaged during a career break, return to work when they are ready or find flexible employment. The other special thing about our Network is that we encourage members to interact with their peer group.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
We’re used to challenges at MomSource Network. Everything from accessing growth capital, educating potential employers and providing the appropriate resources for members. We believe that resilience is the key to success.
Want to learn more about startup capital? <see related: 5 Lessons on Startup Capital: Marathon Investments vs. Sprint Funding>
Are there resources you have utilized that other women founders might find compelling or useful?
We are blessed to have an incredible support system of investors, clients, supporters and advocates. I believe that reaching out to others and asking for help is particularly important.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
We have several great angel investors or women-focused funds that are supporting our growth. In retrospect, I would have started building a network of potential investors earlier.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
I realize now that nobody knows more about your startup than you. We still have more questions than we do answers but that is expected. We are building something that has never been built.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
Scaling nationally and securing the financial runway to grow fast are our biggest challenges.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
I’m obsessed with an app called “Boomerang” for google. It has made me so much more efficient with emails, follow-ups and more.
Advice to women entrepreneurs…
Women are the more risk averse gender which is why there are so many fewer of us starting companies. If you have a great idea and the support system to build it—do it. You can. I believe.
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