Freedom Makers is Laura Renner’s social impact business she’s giving back to the military community and empowering Women is huge for me.
Written by Chuck Carroll
Laura Renner’s business idea more or less fell into her lap. She was chatting with her sister, Jacey Renner, a couple of years ago about how hard Jacey was finding it, as the spouse of a military member stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base near Albuquerque, New Mexico, to sustain any kind of career.
The problem was that employers were reluctant to hire military spouses because their husbands or wives could be transferred to another post at any time — potentially forcing them to have to spend the time and money to hire and train a new person.
Laura’s own mother had had the same experience when she was raising her family. And when Laura was in the military herself — before leaving to get an MBA and join the civilian workforce as an HR specialist — she heard similar stories.
As she spoke with Jacey, Laura had an epiphany: that she could do something to help military spouses — the vast majority of them women. She would put them together as independent contractors with small-business people who needed part-time help with administrative tasks that the owners either don’t like, aren’t good at or don’t have time for: calendaring, payroll, or bookkeeping, for example.
The great thing about the web-based business, Renner said, is that the work can be done anywhere, regardless of where the military member might be stationed. That means if they’re transferred, they can take that work with them and keep earning a steady paycheck.
It’s a business model that scratches a couple of Renner’s itches. “I’m giving back to the military community … by creating mobile employment opportunities so they can work from home and keep working even when they move,” Renner said. “Women and girls’ empowerment is huge for me.”
At the same time, Renner draws satisfaction from helping her small-businesses clients succeed by letting them spend their time on tasks they consider more valuable.
The enterprise turned out so successful that Renner quit her corporate job and paratrooped full time into the new venture, called Freedom Makers.
Oh, what about Renner’s sister, Jacey? Did she benefit from the business? Laura laughed at the irony: “She said she would rather poke her eye out with a pen than do administrative work.”
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