A program to help all those 'mompreneurs' [Florida Times Union]
(Florida Times Union Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Since 2006, Felicia Wright has been running her business, the marketing firm MyGani Design Studio, out of her home.
Although she didn't travel to an office everyday, Wright, who holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of North Florida and a master's degree in marketing from the University of Phoenix, still traveled to meet clients and attend group gatherings. But that part of her business became more difficult 23 months ago when her daughter, Savannah, was born.
"Before Savannah I could do a lot of networking," she said. "... As a mom, it sometimes can be overwhelming and you can feel isolated."
Her husband, Howard, helps with the child care when he's around. But he's an information system technician with the Navy and only recently returned to Jacksonville after deployment.
"When he's deployed, it's like I'm a single parent," Wright said.
Wright's research indicates there are quite a few women like her. According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Business report, there are an estimated 8.6 million businesses in the U.S. owned by women. Florida has about 573,000 women-owned businesses. Among businesses that operate out of the owner's home, 72 percent are owned by women.
Thinking about that led Wright to her latest venture, a peer-to- peer program she calls Mentoring Mamas. Aimed primarily at "mompreneurs" with children under the age of 5, the program is intended to provide both practical advice and psychological support to women trying to run home-based businesses while raising young children.
Currently, Wright is conducting what she considers a four-month pilot program to determine what Mentoring Mamas can do to help women and how that can best be done.
The initial meeting, which took place at her Northside home last month, drew four women and their children. Four other women cancelled at the last moment.
"The first meeting was about us getting to know each other," Wright said. "We talked about what they were looking for, what their challenges are."
Wright plans to have a virtual meeting this month, with women participating digitally from their homes. Next month, she will have a speaker, J. Dianne Tribble, a life coach who will talk about time management.
"I'm trying to put together a program I hope is ongoing," Wright said. "... It's something that's needed and wanted. But do people really want to get involved?'
Anyone interested in becoming involved in Mentoring Mamas can contact Wright by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (MyGani is a shortening of the phrase "My God and I").Charlie.Patton@jacksonville.com; (904) 359-4413
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