CEO Stories: Moms as Entrepreneurs

Keisha Ransome and Tammira Lucas
The Moms As Entrepreneurs Academy

In a part of Baltimore where more than 90% of households are headed by single mothers living below the poverty level, Moms as Entrepreneurs founder Tammira Lucas and Keisha Ransome, founder of Baltimore Etsy Sellers, were driven to invest in their community by launching The Moms as Entrepreneurs Makers Academy. Through collaboration and complementing each other’s strengths, Lucas and Ransome use the Academy to expose moms and their children to the possibilities of entrepreneurship and a more prosperous life – topics seldom discussed in the communities where they live. Listen to the podcast below to learn more about these two successful women entrepreneurs.

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Bumpy Starts

Keisha Ransome’s fashion business, 2live2love, got off to what she calls a “bumpy start” in 2012, earning her $100 on Etsy. But within a couple of years, the self-taught designer saw her business take off, and she wanted to share her knowledge of how to succeed on Etsy with other Baltimore-based makers, and founded Baltimore Etsy Sellers. Business consultant Tammira Lucas co-founded the Moms as Entrepreneurs podcast in 2014 with the goal of helping bring women into entrepreneurship. Like Ransome’s fashion business, the podcast wasn’t an instant success. However, after a couple of years, the podcast gained enough traction to help launch the Moms as Entrepreneurs Academy.

Opening Up

Ransome and Lucas were connected by Will Holman, executive director of the makers’ space Open Works, a facility that offers makers use of industrial and commercial equipment. They applied for an Etsy Makers Cities Grant, with Baltimore becoming the only U.S. city to receive a grant in 2017. Additional funding came from the Kauffman Foundation. The collaboration among Open Works, Moms As Entrepreneurs, and Baltimore Etsy was more powerful than individual efforts. More important, it exemplifies the spirit of community building and giving back that underpins all three organizations. The Moms As Entrepreneurs Makers Academy will offer two 15-week training programs with the goals of teaching mothers and children about entrepreneurship.

The Future

Ransome and Lucas see teaching children about entrepreneurship as just one aspect of investing in the future. They believe that their model can be replicated elsewhere and their goal is to grow a national organization that can help break the cycle of generational poverty with a curriculum focused on business, business psychology and parenthood.

About the Series: Featured stories from the intersection of the free market and entrepreneurial success. Here we speak with leading CEOs, academics, philanthropists and up and comers on their contributions and perspectives on the American economy.

About Ray Hoffman: Ray Hoffman, a veteran business journalist, is highly-regarded for his news and analysis features and insightful CEO interviews. Representing BusinessWeek on air for twenty-one years, Mr. Hoffman was the morning business news voice on the ABC Radio Networks from 1995 to 2006. Mr. Hoffman also represented The Wall Street Journal, on air, for eleven years. His daily WCBS CEO Radio feature was recognized by the New York Press Club as best radio business news report in both 2012 and 2015. In this podcast, Mr. Hoffman invites some of America’s most dynamic CEOs to share their stories as business builders and perspectives on free enterprise.