The Total Mom Inc. is calling on Canadian moms who own a small business to participate in the second-annual Total Mom Pitch.
Founded by Collingwood local, Anna Sinclair, Total Mom is a digital network and event series that supports moms who are entrepreneurs. Sinclair, now a mother of two, found herself completely lost and discouraged after her first son was born. She was excited to be a mother, but she was determined to still thrive in her professional life as well.
“I think the second I birthed my child I birthed a million ideas,” said Sinclair. “I needed people to support me. I needed women around me who felt how I did.”
Now in its second year, Total Mom has grown into a community that not only supports moms, but introduces them to incredible brands, services and people to help them continue to grow — personally and professionally. The Total Mom Pitch is an extension of this.
Last year, Sinclair and her team hosted the first annual Total Mom Show, which was a two-day immersive event in Toronto that was wellness-inspired, and designed to have an aspect for every mom. From VIP pampering to educational talks and two floors of vendors, Sinclair wanted the event to be much more than your typical trade show.
At the end of the event, Sinclair hosted a pitch competition that encouraged moms to go on stage and pitch their businesses and ask for funding or to bring awareness to their brand.
“I thought it was an essential aspect to have at a mom event,” said Sinclair. “It’s one thing to have a business and juggle it and motherhood, but what I’m hearing from the community is that moms want to learn more about business and business development as well."
For the first time, the competition is open to mom entrepreneurs and business owners across the country.
“The idea is to really empower women to get back into the mentality of investing in themselves but into other women too,” said Sinclair.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted moms nationwide, and as children settle back into school, mothers now face difficult decisions around balancing the health and wellness of their family, their lives and their work.
The pandemic also rocked small businesses — Total Mom included — so Sinclair shifted her focus, believing that supporting mothers who double as business owners is more important than ever before.
So she reached out to every sponsor, organization and initiative she could think of, and took the Total Mom Pitch online.
Sinclair caught the attention of the Scotiabank Women Initiative and Visa Canada, and quickly turned the local event into a national initiative to empower, support and help women across the country build and launch successful businesses.
“I was empowered, and I was inspired,” said Sinclair. “And I believe when mom is supported, the rest of the family unit is supported too. There are no limitations. If you identify with taking care of another child, you are the total mom.”
The competition is open to any Canadian resident who identifies as a woman and a mother and owns a Canadian-based business and started the business at least a year ago to date.
Applications for the competition are open until Nov. 12. On Nov. 20, a panel of female mentors and coaches will select the semi-finalists, and public voting will run until Dec. 2.
On Dec. 11, the Top 5 finalists will be announced. The finalists will then begin a three-month accelerator program where they will virtually consult with and be mentored by experts and advisors to build the ultimate business plan and pitch presentation.
The Total Mom Pitch finale will be held on Mar. 15, 2021, where the top five will compete for the grand prize of $10,000 in front of a panel of judges. The top five will also receive a membership with The Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Executive Network.
And while there is a lot on the line, Sinclair said the ultimate goal of the competition is to bring awareness to all of the woman- and mother-led businesses, and create a community with each other, even for those not selected in the Top 5.
“Entrepreneurship is extremely difficult. It’s a lonely road, especially when you are a mom," said Sinclair. “Surrounding yourself with an ecosystem of like-minded women is so important and so key for moms ... I don’t know what I would be doing without these other women to lean on and to ask when I fall down.”
For more information about the competition or to apply to The Total Mom Pitch, visit The Total Mom Inc.