What to expect when you’re an expecting entrepreneur


Shivani Garg Patel, co-founder of Samahope, looks back on growing a social enterprise while expecting.

Creating a human being and creating a social venture have a lot in common: Unexpected challenges, incremental growth, and the immense satisfaction of making something out of thin air. Not only do both endeavors involve a tremendous amount of change, but it’s the kind of change that makes you realize your life will always be different from the way it was before.

I launched Samahope, which funds doctors who provide medical treatments for women and children in need around the world, because I wanted to do something deeply meaningful to me. Growing up, I traveled to India to visit my extended family and became keenly aware of the economic disparity that exists there. In college, I led a student-run non-profit that provided free medical, social, and legal services to homeless and low-income individuals in the Bay Area. After initially working at Microsoft as a product manager and then McKinsey as a strategy consultant, I was also lucky to work with social impact organizations like the World Bank, World Health Organization and Grameen Foundation. These experiences instilled in me a desire to use my skills to change the world, so in business school I investigated how technology could help alleviate poverty.

In 2012, I co-founded Samahope from my tiny New York apartment. After a year and a half of working from home as the only full-time employee, the pieces were finally in place to hire a team and collectively embark on a re-launch of our crowdfunding platform. In October of 2013, I moved from New York to San Francisco to build Samahope in a new city with a new apartment and new team, working out of an office versus working out of my apartment.

Days later, I discovered I was pregnant. I was joyful and anxious all at the same time. I quickly learned how difficult it is to deal with low energy and physical limits when you have ambitious goals and want to be a hard-hitting entrepreneur. I experienced many changes, but the biggest transformation was carrying a little person who was changing my life before being born. Now, I look back with gratitude AND disbelief that I managed to survive parts of it.

I had a rocky first trimester of pregnancy. Feeling disheveled and unwell became my new normal. Morning sickness is in fact a misnomer: my nausea showed no restraint throughout the day. And the pregnancy glow wasn’t a real thing for me. I was forced to slow down at a time when I wanted to speed up. My slowing down entailed days working from home, where I could pause conference call team brainstorms to go throw up.

Frustration was a part of my everyday experience. I had always pushed myself to work hard, but found that now I had very real physical limitations. Basically, I just tried to get through the day. I thought about all the women in developing countries that Samahope provides prenatal care to. I developed a new sense of appreciation for what it really means to be pregnant, and how important the access to medical care that Samahope provides is to women in underserved communities.

By the time we re-launched the Samahope website, three months later, I had survived the worst. My team now knew I was pregnant, and they were very supportive. Telling people was a relief, and I could be open about how I was feeling on any given day. My energy started to return, and with Samahope on track, I felt more like myself. I took time over the holidays to start to prepare for the baby by thinking about baby names, strollers and baby planning. I may have also worked on our strategic plan for Samahope for the next year, but hey, some things don’t change.

Join Us

Samahope’s mission is to reach 1 million patients in 5 years, many of them expectant and delivering women, new mothers, and children. This week we are launching #HonorYourMom, a Mother’s Day campaign that helps mothers in need around the world access critical medical treatments.

The campaign helps us fund pioneering clinicians, like Wangmo Thapa, our skilled birth attendant in Nepal. She crosses mountain peaks over 16,404 feet by foot to get to her patients and conducted over 100 safe births in her first year alone. Upload a picture that will make your Mom (or any mom in your life) smile and add a personal message; she’ll receive a special dedication page and a personalized gift in the mail. Join us and participate in our #HonorYourMom campaign!


Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. 748152 510438Following study a couple of with the blog posts on your personal internet site now, we genuinely like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet website list and are checking back soon. Pls consider my web-site likewise and make me aware in the event you agree. 217679

  2. 826981 721524There is numerous separate years Los angeles Weight reduction eating plan with each a person is really a necessity. The pioneer part can be your original obtaining rid of belonging to the extra pounds. la weight loss 490195

  3. 633608 607295Black Ops Zombies […]some folks nonetheless have not played this game. Its hard to envision or believe, but yes, some people are missing out on all with the fun.[…] 787908

  4. 158789 326104There several fascinating points over time here but I dont know if I see them all center to heart. There exists some validity but Let me take hold opinion until I look into it further. Really good post , thanks and now we want a lot more! Included with FeedBurner at exactly the same time 250476

  5. 286377 483182I discovered your blog internet site on google and verify several of your early posts. Continue to preserve up the superb operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for forward to reading extra from you in a although! 143384

  6. 267790 704021I feel your suggestion would be valuable for me. I will let you know if its function for me too. Thank you for sharing this beautiful articles. thanks a good deal 464078

  7. 407331 752573Greetings! Quick question thats completely off subject. Do you know how to make your website mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone. Im trying to locate a template or plugin that may well be able to fix this dilemma. Should you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it! 625914

  8. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  9. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i
    read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

  10. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and
    tested to see if it can survive a forty foot
    drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

  11. Howdy great blog! Does running a blog like this require a great
    deal of work? I’ve virtually no understanding of programming however I had been hoping to
    start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject nevertheless I just wanted to ask.

  12. 854838 431143Excellent blog here! Also your internet site loads up quick! What host are you employing? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as speedily as yours lol 87287

  13. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading
    it, you can be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back very soon. I want
    to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

  14. 476079 54353The next time I just read a weblog, I actually hope which it doesnt disappoint me up to this 1. Get real, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I personally thought youd have something fascinating to convey. All I hear can be a handful of whining about something you can fix within the event you werent too busy trying to discover attention. 697306

  15. 42251 834954Often the Are typically Weight reduction program is unquestionably an low-priced and flexible weight-reduction program product modeled on individuals seeking out shed some pounds combined with at some point maintain a far healthier your life. la weight loss 100410

  16. I found your blog web site on google and examine a number of of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the excellent operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Searching for forward to reading more from you afterward!…

  17. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and brilliant design and style.

  18. 676505 690326Correct humans speeches should seat as properly as memorialize around the groom and bride. Beginer sound system around rowdy locations need to always not forget currently the glowing leadership of a speaking, which is ones boat. greatest man speeches brother 172307

  19. 431207 641425You wouldnt feel it but Ive wasted all day digging for some articles about this. You may be a lifesaver, it was an exceptional read and has helped me out to no finish. Cheers! 137844

  20. 413693 845285That being said by use it all, planet is really restored a bit a lot more. This situation in addition will this certain Skin tightening and starting to be moved and into the mood of these producing activities. every day deal livingsocial discount baltimore washington 425836


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here