After spending 20 years in the banking and finance industry, Juri Miller, GB’07, knew how difficult it was to balance work and family.

“Parents face enormous barriers when it comes to pay and advancement in the corporate world,” Miller said. “While companies have certainly become more family-friendly over the last two decades, many working parents still feel forced to choose between their careers and their families - when, with the right support system in place, these paths are compatible.”

She says many working parents are leaving corporate America and turning to entrepreneurship in order to gain greater control over their work schedule and priorities. As an entrepreneur who owns a photography business and co-owns a real estate investment company, she wanted to do something to make these parents as successful as possible. So, she opened Balance RVA, Virginia’s first wellness-based coworking space.

“Our goal is to provide more than just a place to work - our goal is to provide all the physical, mental, and emotional resources available to help our members become the best possible versions of themselves,” Miller said.

She says the majority of her members are working parents, so she offers on-site child care and other amenities.

“This demographic is the most likely to sacrifice self-care in pursuit of family and career success. We help them take care of themselves by bringing various health and wellness resources to them. In addition to your traditional office amenities, our members enjoy benefits such as an on-site fitness center, complementary personal training, chiropractic exams, yoga and healthy cooking classes, meditation rooms, and even on-site childcare,” Miller said.

She says without the experience she gained at The Richmond MBA, she would not have had the tools she needed to start Balance RVA.

“My Richmond MBA experience gave me a solid foundation in business strategy as well as the more tactical mechanics of building a company from the ground up,” Miller said.

This is just one of the coworking spaces popping up across the Richmond region, which is revolutionizing entrepreneurship in the Richmond market, and across the country.

“Balance RVA’s addition of childcare and wellness initiatives for their members is a welcome feature for coworking space,” said Debbie Fisher, associate director of The Richmond MBA. “Miller’s passion for creating a functional, beautifully-designed space to help Richmond entrepreneurs focus on balancing family and work commitments is admirable.”

Miller has been recognized by The Richmond MBA program since her graduation as a 35 Under 35 award recipient, and is an example to alumni everywhere, Fisher said, for breaking barriers and not being afraid to try something new.

“Miller remains a good friend to the school and is an alumna we can call on for myriad engagements with our students,” Fisher said.

Miller hopes her experience as a self-proclaimed “mompreneur” will help her reach other working families who want stronger work-life balance. You can find out more about Miller, and other Spider Entrepreneurs at our Support Spider Businesses website.