The year 2020 was especially difficult for working mothers and fathers. While trying to care for their children, many parents struggled to keep their jobs or were forced to leave their jobs. One in five (19.6%) working age adults were not working because the pandemic “disrupted their childcare arrangements,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Working mothers especially have had to bear the brunt of this problem. “Of those [adults] not working, women ages 25-44 are almost three times as likely as men to not be working due to childcare demands.” In addition, The Washington Post reported that “one out of four women who reported becoming unemployed during the pandemic said it was because of a lack of child care—twice the rate among men.”
But there is an upside to these setbacks: entrepreneurship can provide new opportunities for moms of all ages. The pandemic has not deterred people from starting new businesses. Last year more than 4.3 million applications for employer identification numbers (EINs) were filed. These are the tax IDs which enable entrepreneurs to open business bank accounts and are a requirement for hiring employees. Essentially, having this tax ID preps individuals for starting small businesses and becoming entrepreneurs.
If the broader economy is unable to support working mothers, then they may find entrepreneurship affords them the necessary flexibility and autonomy within their career path. Let’s take a look at what positions working moms for success as entrepreneurs.
Self-employment enables independence and the ability to take control of your future
In February 2021, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released a report called “Economic Engagement of Mothers: Entrepreneurship, Employment, and the Motherhood Wage Penalty.” The report covers how we can support mothers’ access to opportunities to engage in the economy. Further, it details easing their access to opportunity through entrepreneurship.
Why do mothers want to become entrepreneurs? According to the report, mothers who have chosen entrepreneurship over the last five years have several motivators on their side. Of the women surveyed, 57% said they made the leap so they could be their own boss; 52% said they wanted to make more money and essentially obtain a higher standard of living.
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