Momtrepreneurs: Become a mom and still retain your business


As motherhood and entrepreneurship are often two sides of the same coin, many momtrepreneurs are learning that it’s entirely possible to take critical time off to care for their little ones while still maintaining a healthy business. 

The biggest worry, especially for women entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of their businesses, is whether they will be able to retain their clients during and following a period of maternity leave, with many fearing that a competitor might grab their market share.

To ensure the seamless running of a business in their absence, momtrepreneurs should engage in scenario planning with their financial planner. This will enable them to carefully consider how they might address the financial and other business performance implications during their leave period.

Draw up a proper maternity leave plan that maps a course of action for your business. It would be ideal to draw up this plan even before falling pregnant, when you still have lots of time to prepare. 


When creating such a plan, momtrepreneurs might consider these points:

  • Your role in the business during your leave period: Are you going to cut all ties (this is probably not advisable), or will you continue to do some work from home? Is there someone in the business who can take over from you for a few months, or are you going to employ a replacement? What will your level of involvement be, and of what do you want to be kept informed?
  • Establish clear responsibility and authority: If you manage staff members, consider new reporting lines when you are not there. Who will manage the finances, payments and general cash flow of the business?
  • How and when to inform your clients: At some point, your clients will need to know that you may not be there for a few months. You need to reassure them that it will be business as usual while you are away. If someone is replacing you, do a proper handover and introduce this person to your key clients.

Apart from this, you will also need a strategy for your personal finances. It is best to draw this up in consultation with your financial planner. Here is what you’ll need to consider:

  • Will you be drawing a salary? If you have business partners, have a conversation about whether they will agree to you taking your full salary during your leave of absence.
  • Will you qualify for unemployment insurance? Check with your accountant whether your business set-up allows you to claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) while you are on maternity leave.
  • Continued payment of policy premiums: If you have a retirement annuity, the last thing you should do is to allow the premiums to lapse. Many retirement funds have penalty clauses if you stop or reduce payments, and over the longer term you will lose a significant amount on compound interest. You should have insurance or risk cover in place and it’s best to speak to your financial planner to check if any waivers on premiums might be allowed while you are on leave. If waivers are not permitted you’ll need to make provision for your premium payments in your financial planning, as you cannot take the risk of not having insurance or risk cover in place to protect you and your expanding family.


Don’t rush into anything before you’ve made proper provision for both your business and yourself. Make sure that the business and you receive the necessary attention. The reality is that you need to plan, plan and plan some more.


Momtrepreneurs: Become a mom and still retain your business
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