SymbioBiz: New organization helps parent entrepreneurs achieve balance

After 10 years in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community and as a mom of three, Stephanie Zamora saw something severely lacking in local business circles: resources for parent entrepreneurs.

So in November 2018, she started up her business SymbioBiz, where her team provides parent entrepreneurs with the support they need to run their businesses.

“SymbioBiz is a nonprofit organization that takes underutilized spaces in the community and then matches them to local entrepreneurs that are fit for that location,” Zamora said. “This provides flexible space that allows family businesses to scale up.”

SymbioBiz’s first location is South Summit Christian Church in Lee’s Summit, where it will operate for the entirety of 2019. The business’ first client within this space is FlexPlay, a coworking space for parent business owners that also provides built-in childcare.

“The resources provided by FlexPlay have been huge for parent entrepreneurs,” Zamora said. “Their biggest struggle is that they’re trying to balance building a cohesive business around children.

Together with FlexPlay, we’re able to provide them that space, and the coaching and counseling they need, to be successful, and our childcare allows them to actually do business and have their kids learning onsite with them.”

Supporting nontraditional entrepreneurs

Zamora is no stranger to the difficulties of running a business with kids in the picture. As she juggled the responsibilities of her business and a high-needs baby, Zamora struggled to attend networking events and business classes while meeting the steep demands of childcare.

Zamora says the enthusiastic contributions of “nontraditional” entrepreneurs like parents are an untapped resource in Kansas City.

“We’ve found that those parent entrepreneurs are very active in the community,” she said. “We want to encourage that and find ways to group that labor and passion together with resources so we can make group impacts.”

Zamora has plenty of other ideas in the pipeline for 2019: For starters, she wants to launch a Youth Entrepreneur Club to support young business owners who are starting out, a collaborative coworking experience called “Workingshops” and initiatives for parents with special-needs children.

Zamora hopes to expand to more locations in 2020, but she’s been careful not to grow her business too quickly; she wants to focus on the small community she’s already fostered.

“Our parent entrepreneurs love working together and promoting each other. What they’ve all found is that they enjoy being able to be part of a community,” Zamora said. “They finally feel like they’re not the only ones doing this crazy entrepreneur thing.”