Innovator Insights: Entrepreneur And Flexible Employment Advocate, Courtney Jones, Founder of MomSource Network @momsource
Name: Courtney Jones
Courtney Jones founded MomSource Network to advocate for professional moms seeking to contribute to a professional work environment while still prioritizing their families. Courtney is the daughter of a stay at home mom and a serial entrepreneur (plus is now a married mother of two herself). She was recognized as one of Knoxville’s 40 Under 40 in 2013 and serves on the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachia board of directors. MomSource Network currently represents 2500+ educated, professional women who are committed to finding flexible full-time, permanent part-time, job-shared or telecommute opportunities.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Courtney: Why are my eyes blue? I was born that way. I was also born an entrepreneur. I was solving problems and building tiny businesses even as a kid. As I grew up, I realized that even inside traditional corporate environments, I was always struggling to stay within boundaries and follow the “standard” process. I’m continuously asking “Why?” If I’m not going to make an effort to answer these questions then who the hell will?
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Courtney: Americans have earned their opportunity to find a fulfilling work-life blend. We need a workforce that feels personally fulfilled and professionally successful. The best way to do that is to challenge progressive employers to focus on building results-oriented, deadline-driven organizations that allow flexible full-time, permanent part-time, job-shared and remote opportunities for their teams.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Courtney: I wish that I had started my entrepreneurial journey earlier. Like many women, I feared the unknown and didn’t have the confidence to break out and start my own business earlier. Even when I recognized my entrepreneurial calling, I ignored it for too long!
Me: What does success look like for you?
Courtney: Making an impact. Changing the world. Being a role model.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Courtney: Nameless women who have paved the way for those coming behind them. And of course, the obvious… My parents… Pat Head Summit… Gloria Allred
Me: What is your best discovery?
Courtney: Nobody knows more than you do. I think it’s easy to look around the start-up and business community and believe that everybody else has figured “it” out. They have the answer, have slayed the dragon and made it to the summit…. My best discovery was a realization that nobody has all the answers. The best you can hope for is to humble yourself to the great advice of others, challenge your processes and BE RESILIENT!
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Courtney: Southern Success
Me: What makes the Tennessee entrepreneurial ecosystem unique?
Courtney: I believe that Tennessee is the best place in the world to live, to raise a family and to start a business. We believe in supporting our neighbors, sharing our resources and cheering for the underdog. Who couldn’t love that?
Me: If a Shark Tank investor asked “why should I invest in Tennessee?, what’s your answer?
Courtney: Tennessee entrepreneurs might be our country’s best kept secret. Our entrepreneurs are creating technologies, building businesses and making social impacts. Talent is accessible, operations costs are low and the drive to succeed is unparalleled. Since being a TN Entrepreneur is an unlikely profession (compared to other parts of the country) it means that those of us that do it are scrappy, hardworking folks who are committed to making money and making a difference.
Me: From meetups to co-working to networking events, what are your top recommendations for someone just stepping into the Tennessee startup ecosystem?
Courtney: 1. Build a team of advisors who will challenge your business model. 2. Make a connection with Launch TN. 3. Don’t be scared to ask for what you need.
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Courtney: MomSource Network was founded in Knoxville, TN in August of 2013 and have been growing on revenue. As of June 1, we are in seven cities in five states around the southeast and have thousands of candidates from around the country!