Single Parents Beating The Odds With Successful Startups

Single parents often have to face significant challenges when it comes to balancing work and family responsibilities. Juggling childcare, household duties, and financial pressures can be daunting. Yet, even In the midst of the struggles that accompany single parenthood, some have successfully started their own businesses. These supermums and superdads show us that anything is possible with determination and creative problem-solving.

Entrepreneurship offers flexibility and autonomy, allowing single parents to create schedules that can accommodate their family needs. However, starting a business requires hard work, dedication, and resourcefulness. Single parents may encounter difficulties accessing financing or finding affordable childcare, but many of them overcome these barriers through their creativity and perseverance.

These single-parent entrepreneurs demonstrate the potential for success even against all odds. By sharing their experiences and strategies for overcoming obstacles, they contribute to a more inclusive and supportive business community for single parents.


Startups Started By Single Parents



Sonnet James


sonnet james
Whitney Lundeen, a single mother from Palo Alto, California, founded Sonnet James, a clothing company featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Her pitch moved Kevin O’Leary to tears as she shared her journey of creating fashionable, comfortable dresses for mothers like herself. Lundeen started the business after struggling to find practical yet stylish dresses while raising her two boys.

Despite facing challenges and teaching herself how to sew, she saw rapid success, with £1.2 million in sales last year. Lundeen’s emotional backstory, coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit, resonated with the Sharks, leading to a £350,000 investment from Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. Sonnet James aims to provide mothers with clothing that empowers and reminds them of their priorities.




MiTech is a company founded by Bill McCleskey, a single father and entrepreneur, while working at Comcast Business. Specialising in telecom services, MiTech has quickly gained traction, boasting clients like Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, and the US Army. McCleskey’s background in sales highlighted the importance of relationships, leading MiTech to leverage hundreds of partnerships with IT consultants and firms across the nation.

With over 300 clients and 200 referral partners, their model continues to expand in both private and public sectors. MiTech prioritises customer experience, aiming to surpass expectations in every interaction. Services include telecom conversion, single billing solutions, free annual audits, and opportunities for client exposure.




Founded by Nevine Coutry, a single mother and marketing entrepreneur, Playdate is the UK’s first dating app dedicated to single parents. Frustrated by the lack of dating opportunities for single parents, Coutry launched Playdate to help them find meaningful relationships that fit around their busy lifestyles. The app offers unique features such as an in-app childcare solution in partnership with Bubble, a UK nanny and sitter app, and an “invisibility” function to avoid ex-partners.

Playdate recently secured a £250,000 investment from Ankh Impact Ventures and angel investors to scale its operations in the UK. With over 2.9 million single parents in the UK and 320 million globally, Playdate aims to meet the significant need for a dating app tailored specifically to single parents.


Bhakti Chai


bhakti chai
Brook Eddy, a single parent, founded Bhakti Chai after being inspired by her visit to India in 2002, where she discovered the concept of Bhakti, or devotion through social action, and fell in love with masala chai. Bhakti Chai offers a sustainable and socially conscious beverage experience with its fresh-pressed ginger chai concentrate made from organic ingredients sourced sustainably from around the world.

Blended with craft-brewed black tea and fiery spices, Bhakti Chai provides a clean energy boost and warmth from the inside out. Available in Original and Unsweetened, it is always organic and fair trade. The company, based in Boulder, Colorado, also embraces a social mission through its philanthropic platform, GITA, supporting initiatives empowering women and girls, advocating for social justice, and addressing the climate crisis. Bhakti is proud to be a Benefit Corporation, adhering to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance.


Fleurty Girl


Fleurty Girl
Fleurty Girl, founded by single mother Lauren LeBlanc Haydel in 2009, began with a simple yet powerful vision: celebrating New Orleans through women’s apparel. Starting from printing t-shirts in her home, Lauren’s determination led her to open her first retail store on Oak Street, even moving her family into the back to make it work.

Today, Fleurty Girl boasts nine retail outlets and over 70 employees, embodying the essence of New Orleans culture. Their merchandise, inspired by the city, includes locally made items alongside nationally-loved brands. Lauren’s journey, coupled with her love for New Orleans, has made Fleurty Girl a beloved brand synonymous with the city’s spirit. With a deep connection to the community and a passion for showcasing New Orleans culture, Fleurty Girl stands as a true ambassador of the city.


PackIt Personal Cooler


Founded by Melissa Kieling, a single mother of three, PackIt Personal Cooler was born out of a simple yet impactful idea: keeping kids’ lunches cool until lunchtime. Melissa patented the concept of a lunch bag with a built-in freezable gel lining, which evolved into PackIt.

Over five years, the company has grown into a $14 million business, offering a range of products for lunch, wine, baby, picnic, and shopping needs. Distributed in over 40 countries, PackIt prioritises innovation and quality, aiming to revolutionise the way people carry food and beverages on the go. Their vision is to empower consumers to expect more from their products, delivering solutions that are smart, effective, and, above all, cool. PackIt strives to make life simpler and more enjoyable for its users, redefining what it means to live well.