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Motherhood and Entrepreneurship: 6 Incredible Stories

Vanessa Childers May 7, 2019

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we are highlighting just a handful of female conscious-business badasses who birthed* and nurtured not only their businesses, but also actual humans. (*Conscious note: We acknowledge and respect the fact that not all parenthood is biological, and that juggling a conscious business with being a present and nurturing parent is simultaneously a privilege and no easy feat — and is a commendable accomplishment no matter one’s gender identification.)

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, we know these stories will truly inspire you to appreciate the loved ones in your life and to refocus your goals on building and leading businesses that help others to do the same. This reminds us of what Berry-Wehmiller Chairman and CEO Bob Chapman said at the 2019 Conscious Company Leaders Forum: “Everyone is someone’s precious child … We can create a world where everyone’s precious children know that who they are and what they do matters.”


In August 2015, with a one-month-old baby in tow, Sunrun cofounder and CEO Lynn Jurich completed the company’s IPO. You can read the 2019 cover story about how she beat the odds and built a $3 billion solar empire, or you can listen to it on her episode of our World-Changing Women Podcast — which was recorded just as Jurich was coming off of maternity leave with her second child.


Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a wonder woman. She is the former Vice President of Marketing for MyFitnessPal, now part of Under Armour, and during her time there she grew the user base from 45 million to more than 100 million. She is the author of “The Transformational Consumer: Fuel a Lifelong Love Affair With Your Customers by Helping Them Get Healthier, Wealthier, and Wiser,” creator of the 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders, and an Entrepreneur in Residence with Lightspeed Venture Partners. Nelson is also the founder and CEO of SoulTour, a personal growth and spiritual community where she creates content and experiences that empower people to become more self-aware, transform their lives, and unearth a leadership goldmine. On top of all that: she’s a mother and grandmother. Hear her share how she’s done it, and then check out her top-five conscious-leadership strategies.


In her episode of the World-Changing Women Podcast, the cofounder and CEO of Seed Spot — an organization designed to educate, accelerate, and invest in entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to social problems — shares some great advice for mothers as well as her personal startup story, which involves deeply understanding a problem while trusting her intuition. (She also has a family-related anecdote behind her answer to this question: What do you do every day that you consider important to your success?)


Thirteen years ago, Kim Graham-Nye was pregnant when she and her husband came across a fact that stopped them in their tracks: one disposable diaper takes 500 years to biodegrade. Read her story about how the couple went on to found gDiapers, flushable diaper inserts with soft cotton diaper covers that make cloth diapering easy and let babies’ skin breathe.


Eileen Fisher is definitely not the archetype of someone who has founded and built a half-billion dollar fashion company, and that’s also what makes her so special. She does things differently, and she does them guided by her own intuition, not what others think she should do. This intuition has been the driving force behind the brand’s aspirations to be one of the most sustainable clothing lines in the world, to build an ESOP structure that has sold 40 percent of the company back to the employees, and do things like pioneer a collaborative leadership structure in the workplace. Oh, and she’s a mother. Read or listen to her story for more nuggets of wisdom.


Zahra Kassam is closing the education gap in the most critical years of human development, those from birth to preschool. She founded Monti Kids, the only Montessori program delivered to the home for babies from birth to age 3 — and she pitched the company on an episode of the hit ABC television show Shark Tank, an experience the mother of two describes as “more painful than childbirth.” She taped during the summer of 2018, when her children were six years old and three months old.


Lynn Jurich, Tara-Nicholle Nelson, and Zahra Kassam are also two of our 35 World-Changing Women of 2019. In fact, head on over to that list for continued inspiration.

And then save the date for the 2020 World-Changing Women’s Summit, January 29 – 31, 2020, for even more inspiring personal accounts of balancing life, personal relationships, and building and running a conscious business.

Equity and Inclusion / Stakeholder Capitalism
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