NEWS RELEASE: Startup Alleghenies Salutes Mom Entrepreneurs #StartRHRN #mompreneurs

 In entrepreneur, News
ContactMarilyn Kail  | 412.977.7172 |

ALTOONA, Pa., May 7, 2019 – May 12 marks Mother’s Day, when we make a special effort to recognize our Moms and thank them for all they have done for us.

Startup Alleghenies is proud to support women who are dreaming of  bringing their big ideas to market. The nonprofit ( has registered 324 entrepreneurs since launching in June 2017, including many “mompreneurs,” women who are balancing the challenges of starting and growing a business with the demands of parenting.

“Entrepreneurship is a key driver of innovation and economic development in the U.S.,” said Debbi Prosser, director business-development, Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC). Women’s entrepreneurship has been on the rise for the past decade, and at Startup Alleghenies we believe more can be done to provide women entrepreneurs with the support they need to succeed.”

In fact, more than 11 million U.S. firms are now owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales, according to a 2017 report commissioned by American Express.*

“While the number of women-owned firms are growing, they are still in the minority, and access to private capital and coaching support remains challenging,” Prosser added.  “In addition, obstacles faced by mompreneurs can be very different than those experienced by their male counterparts.”

Recently, Startup Alleghenies recruited its first woman Entrepreneur and Innovation Coach, Debra Clark, who mentors Startup Alleghenies entrepreneurs in Huntingdon and Fulton Counties in partnership with Huntingdon County Business and Industry. The accomplished mother of six says, “this is an exciting new era for working moms and will offer paths we never considered to provide for our families. As the Startup Alleghenies Entrepreneur Coach for Huntingdon and Fulton Counties, as well as a mom, I view my position as a unique opportunity to empower mompreneurs to start their own businesses.”

Clark’s advice to mompreneurs: “New business development boosts the economy and benefits our entire community. My big picture– making the places we are raising our families economically stable for the future of our children.  So bottom line ladies, take that risk, you don’t have to sacrifice a career to raise a family or vice versa, you can have both and I’ll happily help you achieve that.”

Other mompreneurs who have launched successful businesses in the Southern Alleghenies include:

Laura Hess, The Garden Harvest (

The Garden Harvest is a mobile kitchen and catering company serving farm fresh food made to order from a little blue and green box on wheels. Laura is the proud mama of little Benton, a five-year-old kindergartner who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. She has literally and figuratively been digging deep every day to plant the seeds and ideas for her dream to make a healthy food option come to life in Huntingdon Pa.

Hess’s advice to other mompreneurs:  “Be real with your spouse, your child, and your business partners. Then walk your talk and commit to the long-term goals you set for yourself.”

Emily Korns, Uptown Works (

Uptown Works is a co-working community and business center and Startup Alleghenies partner.  Korns, who is a mom is the entrepreneurial founder of Uptown Works.

Korns tip for mompreneurs: “Let go of some of the control at home. We think no one else can care for our family as well as we can. That may be true, but you can’t do it all, so pick your battles. Ask your partner/spouse, family and friends to help you with cleaning, laundry, cooking and childcare so you can focus time on your business. Sure, they might not do things exactly the way you want them done, but, if you learn to adjust your standards and accept help, everyone wins.

Emily Mahler, Wellness for Generations (

Wellness for Generations empowers clients with the knowledge to take control of their health and connects them to professionals who practice a variety of wellness techniques. These professionals are open to collaborating with others, including their clients’ doctors and understand that there is no health or wellness solution that fits everyone’s unique needs. Emily also participated in the Ben Franklin TechCelerator program and credits the program with “that extra dose of accountability” she needed to stay on track in launching her business. Emily and her husband, Allen, have a son, John, who will be four in June.

Mahler’s tip for other mompreneurs:  “With a full time job, a spouse who travels and a young son, I’ve found that the only way I can find the time to focus on my business is with the help of a strong support system that includes community and work connections, my Mom, and of course, my Startup Alleghenies Coach.

Stephanie Hite, Trade Secrets, LLC (

Trade Secrets, LLC, manufactures and sells a wide variety of soaps, skincare products, lotions, bath bombs, and CBD oils.  Stephanie and her husband, Andrew are planning to expand in the fall and open a salt therapy room at a new location.


About Startup Alleghenies

Startup Alleghenies is a free program that connects existing and potential entrepreneurs with experienced Coaches to help them navigate a vast network of partners at economic development groups, private organizations, colleges and universities.  It was launched with a POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a federal-state partnership investing in the socioeconomic future of 420 counties in 13 states in the Appalachian region.  The support of the PA Department of Community &Economic Development also was instrumental in establishing SUA.

*From THE 2017 STATE OF WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES REPORT Commissioned by American Express