Professional Communities for Mom Founders

It can feel isolating being a stay-at-home mom and entrepreneur. No one succeeds alone. We all need communities that can serve as sounding boards, additional expertise or a place to vent to individuals in the trenches like you
Written by
Kim Le
Published on
May 11, 2024

Leaving my full-time job stunted my professional network growth. In a year of working, I could met at least 50 to 100 new people from interviewing new hires, acquiring clients, or negotiating vendor contracts.

At a company, networking is often a byproduct of your role supporting the company’s operations. As a new business owner, an entrepreneur must also grow their network quickly. Finding the right communities and surrounding yourself with like-minded founders can fuel you to dream bigger and go further.

Venture Fund Communities

In the US, women are starting 849 new businesses every day. Today, 42% of all businesses are partly owned by women. Yet only 2% of those women-only businesses are receiving venture funding. There are emerging female led venture funds who are intent on changing that. In the process, they are not just funding businesses but also building communities of female founders.

Females Founder’s Fund

Based in New York, the Females Founder’s Fund is a seed stage venture firm that invests in female founded start-ups. With over 70 start-ups in their portfolio, they are help female founded start-ups to get their start.

Female Founders Community

Based in Vienna, the Female Founders Community targets European female founders and offers it all. From venture funding, a newsletter, a community, and a transparent database of venture backed female founded start-ups, the Female Founders’ Community is an all-around go to resource for any female founder in Europe.

Alumni Venture’s Women’s Fund

A sub-fund within Alumni Ventures, the women’s fund invests in women founded and led startups. The Alumni Venture Fund has been featured as a Top 20 fund in America, so the funding comes with an extensive network and resource for female founders. Per their website, they’ve to date made 15-20 investments in the last year and a half.

Board & Leadership Focused

Roughly a quarter of board members for companies are female, and there’s been efforts to increase that number to a more fair and equal representation. One such effort was a California law mandating the number of females on boards, which was then ruled as unconstitutional. Since that ruling, the pace at which women were added to boards appear to have slowed, but that’s not going to stop these groups from elevating women into leadership roles.

Women On Boards

The Women on Boards organization seeks to provide end to end resources to support female executives to make their next move in their career. They help with CV review and searching for board vacancies in addition to the usual support from community groups like events, membership, and free resources.

Women On Boards Project

Very similar to the previous org, the Women On Boards Project is looking to build a community of female leaders to help place them on boards. Less of a members focused community and more of a marketplace, the project aims to build both a community of female leaders and partnership with corporations looking to fill their board.

50-50 Women on Boards

Of all the women on boards communities listed, this takes some serious action and focuses on women on public company boards. Public companies have a higher level of scrutiny and to be a board member of those organizations requires significantly higher qualifications, experience, and domain expertise. The organization focuses on a rigorous process to find and feature 50 female leaders annually as emerging candidates for board positions at public companies.

Other Women in Business Communities

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

The NAWBO is a community and advocacy first organization for female business owners. Unlike the “founder” title attached in the previous two groups which focused on start-up oriented businesses, the NAWBO’s vision is to support all business owners. They are a dues based organization that also provides certification for women-owned businesses. With local chapters through the US and globally, you’re bound to find community. NAWBO also has an exclusive $1M+ club for women whose business’ generate more than $1 million.

Women Elevating Women (WEW)

A member focused community, WEW is focused on the elite business owners. Their goal is provide the community resources and support to elevate six figure earning women-owned businesses to the next level. WEW estimates that their target demographic is only 8% of women-owned businesses.

Whereas many of the above communities having nationwide or global reach, the WEW is a more localized organization with locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

The Women’s Edge

Similar to WEW, the Women’s Edge is local to Massachusetts and Florida. The community is for aspiring or current female executives or equivalent leadership roles. Membership in the Women’s Edge is not limited to business owners or founders. There is a tiered membership set-up and free resources to members of the community. Their annual luncheon event brings together the top 100 female business leaders in their respective state’s chapter.

Women in Tech

Women in Tech is probably one of the most inclusive professional organizations for women. There are no fees to join the organization, and there are a wealth of resources for women in tech. From local chapters, job boards, and extensive networking opportunities, the Women in Tech stands out as having many opportunities of women backing women regardless of where they are in their journey. Their annual events in countries around the world is a testament to their vast capabilities, reach, and commitment to connecting women together in a supportive community.

Local or Friends Mom Groups

We’re moms first and entrepreneurs second. As moms, we seek out mom groups, whether locally through our children's classes or on Facebook. Mom groups can also be support the entrepreneurial journey. The relationships in mom groups may start as friendships rather than professional relationships. But a strong personal network can help support a healthier mental state through the ups and downs of starting a business. We all do better together.

How to find mom groups?

There are an abundance of mom groups, working mom groups, and stay-at-home mom groups typically at the local level. These groups are usually formed organically through some shared interest, characteristic, or responsibility.

Here are some ideas to help find the local mom groups in your area:

Local Facebook Groups

Most mom groups have a Facebook group. It’s probably because most moms with young children grew up during the boom of Facebook. There’s a pretty high probability that the current era’s moms have a Facebook and/or Instagram account as opposed to a Snap or TikTok account (though they can be found there too).

If you update your geography and do some searches into groups in your region, mom groups should pop up where you can request to join.

Community Events

Attending local community events is another great way of learning and discovering new resources for mom. Sometimes mom groups will sponsor an event through the town such as a baby stuff exchange or an evening out for mom. Being more connected with the local community can help open up opportunities to meet new moms.

School PTO and Classmates

For parents of young children, this is probably the easiest way to meet other moms. Daycare and school act as the glue or common ground that brings many working parents together. Playdates and kids' activities give parents time to chill out together and chat. To date, most of our new friends outside of work have come from meeting parents of other kids from our kids' classes. (Sometimes we plan get togethers, under the guise of our children hanging, when it's really for the adults.)

It Takes a Village

Mom founders need communities to support their journeys.  Female founders are already underrepresented in start-ups. Mothers face an overwhelming amount of guilt for every decision that trades off between working and spending time with the family. Mom founders, more than most founders, can benefit from the help of others to continue on the path of and succeed in entrepreneurship.

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