The Founding Moms®  is a collective of offline meetups and online resources where mom entrepreneurs can exchange, connect and learn from one another. Incredible women living right in your backyard meet up to swap start-up stories, interact with renowned business experts, and build personal and professional connections within the ever-growing network of mom-owned businesses. And in 2013, Forbes named us one of the Top 10 Websites for Women Entrepreneurs.

I had 3 businesses, 2 kids and 1 desire to have a cup of coffee with fellow entrepreneurs who also happened to be mothers. So I set up a get-together through Meetup.com. I hoped that maybe four or five women would join me. Fast forward to now: we’re 245 746 5,616 mom entrepreneurs and counting.How did it get started? Honestly, it was by accident.

Soon enough, one member approached me about opening up the group to a new geographic region…and since then, we’ve grown beyond the boundaries of my hometown, into cities like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Charleston, Seattle, Cape Cod, San Francisco and New York City.  (And many more…we’re even in Australia, Canada, Singapore, The Netherlands, Croatia, Germany and Mexico now, too, among other countries.)

Why are we growing so fast? Because we rock.

Unlike many formal, stiff and expensive women’s-or-business-and-0r-entrepreneurial groups that I’ve attended, we’re real women making a difference and having fun doing it. We dress casually. We bring our noisemakers (babies, toddlers, kids) and discuss the ultimate balancing act. We talk about opportunities to help our business grow. We share tips, we listen to expert advice and we come back for more.  We create relationships, promote deeper connections and engage in ways distinct from the daily online blur.

Please join us.  Let’s continue to pay it forward and help moms get down to business.

-Jill Salzman, Founding Mom Since ’07