Baby Biz Grows Up

Jessica Jacobs took a long maternity leave after having her first child just 9 years ago. During that time she began to re-think her career reports the Financial Post.

Like many new mothers, she didn’t want to return to her job in the real estate development business. “Back then, I was working 24-hours a day, seven days a week, that’s how you are successful in that kind of business,” Ms. Jacobs says.

Instead, she started her own business, Little Soles, which makes nontoxic shoes for children. Five years later, her Calgary-based company has hit its stride, despite a disaster in 2007 that saw an entire container of fall season shoes destroyed at sea. Little Soles may have started as a creative outlet for a restless, stay-at-home mother, but it’s now surpassed $600,000 in revenue.

Ms. Jacobs is part of a new wave of small businesses run by women who are redefining the term “mompreneur.”

“The home may be the place of incubation for new business ideas, but increasingly, women are seeking to grow the scope and size of their firms,” says Barbara Osler, Deloitte Chair in the Management of Growth Enterprises, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

The difference between now and a decade ago, is women entering this space have more credentials, and are building better networks, Ms. Orser says. It’s also helped that they have many more role models, she adds.

Screenshot from Little Soles

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