Submitted by Kathy Gledhill on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 14:17
Jill Salzman is the founder of an award winning community aptly named The Founding Moms, a collective of offline meetups and online resources where mom entrepreneurs can exchange, connect, and learn from one another. Read on to learn more about The Founding Moms and their experience working with Kiva!
This post is an updated version of the original post from March 7th, 2017.
"The Founding Moms got started by accident. I happened to be a mom and an entrepreneur who didn't know any other mom entrepreneurs. I reached out and found other like minded women. In reality, I didn't even realize that we comprised a niche that needed tending to - but we sure do."
- Jill Salzman.
Check out The Founding Moms' Facebook and you'll quickly find out that Jill Salzman can make two of the hardest jobs in the world look fun and feasible. Starting and running your own business is a time-consuming challenge all by itself. Layer in some "noisemakers" (babies, kids, teens with agendas) and unforeseen schedule changes ("Mom, I forgot to do my science project and it's due tomorrow") and the degree of difficulty and need for support increase. The Founding Moms provides a forum where women can share resources and encourage each other in navigating and mitigating the challenges of simultaneously managing a family and a business.
"We help moms get down to business in as many ways as we can."
The birth of The Founding Moms emerged from Jill's desire to connect with mom entrepreneurs who understand the ins and outs of business-building while child-rearing. It turns out that Jill isn't the only mom entrepreneur looking for this type of community. Around the world, 10,000+ enterprising moms are now collaborating from 50+ cities in 12 countries. Offline meetups and online resources provide forums for discussing trending topics, beta testing ideas, and sharing the challenges of being working mothers.
"The biggest challenges mom entrepreneurs face are guilt and fear."
It's not lack of support and it's no longer a lack of finding fellow mom entrepreneurs to cooperate (or commiserate) with...it's she herself who stops the whole thing from becoming what it could be", says Jill. "There's a lot of doubt, mommy guilt, and talking ourselves right out of making the next move -- for a lot of reasons, almost all of which are valid or seem true. But it doesn't have to be that way." The Founding Moms community knows that connecting in real life is critical.
Jill offers the following advice: "Stop overthinking things; it stops you from making progress. There's no better way to overcome your own challenges than receiving the help of others." The result can be a mom who can command an army of kids with an arched eyebrow while simultaneously navigating her iPhone contacts and building out her network of supportive friends and business colleagues.
"There are literally hundreds of people through Kiva who are ready and willing to support your dream."
The Founding Moms is a great example of how mom entrepreneurs can benefit from a Kiva loan. Jill raised $5,000 from 118 lenders to launch her community and observes, "It has been a wild success and we could not have done it without our donors who believed in what we wanted to build. Tap them. Ask for what you want and what you need. You will see what an amazing community Kiva has to offer" and, while we're biased because we're a community as well, there really is no way to build your business without a strong community."
We were so pleased with the Kiva loan process and its results that we wanted to help our members find support from the same platform.
After successfully fundraising with Kiva, The Founding Moms became a Kiva Trustee to help other women entrepreneurs raise capital. Click here to learn more. Jill states, "We consider many things when it comes to publicly supporting and endorsing a member, namely what she's looking to build, what her efforts will be to foster it growth, and how she plans to work her Kiva campaign. We offer resources to aid our members get ready for funding." An eligible candidate for endorsement by The Founding Moms will have a marketing plan, know how to use her network to fund-raise, and have specifics on how she will use the money she raises.
"There is an amazing network of people supporting entrepreneurs on the Kiva platform. It's fantastic!"
Our partnership with Kiva is truly wonderful in the sense that our communities thrive on their own, but the crossover helps us all grow together. We get offer Kiva as a resource to our members who often don't know where else to look for that kind of support.
"So go on. Dive in. You will benefit tremendously."
For additional info about The Founding Moms, check out Jill's ""Breaking Down Your Business"" podcast and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.