Did you know that women now start 4 out of 10 new companies?
Did you also know that in the United States alone, there are 9.1 million women-owned businesses?
The 2014 OPEN State of Women-Owned Business report shows that women-owned businesses generate over $1.4 trillion in annual revenue and employ over 7.8 million people.
From technology to beauty, healthcare to education, lifestyle to retail female entrepreneurs are at the frontier of new business creation. There is a lot to learn from the women who are often balancing family demands with work life to successfully launch, grow and manage a business.
Here are 4 female entrepreneurs to watch out for and to be inspired by:
At just 23 years, Kathryn Minshew had what every twentysomething would consider a dream-come-true. She had landed a position at McKinsey & Company, a blue chip management consultancy firm—but she grew increasingly unfulfilled and lost at her job. In her search for career development resources that would provide insights on how to use her talents, she could hardly find worthwhile, comprehensive resources online. She decided to start up her own one-stop shop offering career advice, with only $3000 and a small little team of writers in startup capital. Now the co-founder and CEO of the Muse, Minshew’s online career guidance tool provides all-encompassing, comprehensive resources for job seekers, attracts up to 1 million users each month, and has generated over 2 million in seed funding.
Lesson: If there is something that someone is not doing yet, maybe you should be the first one to do it.
Heidi Ganahl has tasted both tragedy and triumph. Back in 1995, her husband died in a plane crash leaving young 27-year old Heidi behind. In 2000, with $83,000 as part of her settlement money, she set up Camp Bow Wow, a day and overnight dog day care service in Denver. Although Ganahl admits that she had not envisioned becoming an entrepreneur, today Camp Bow Wow is one of the largest women-owned businesses in the pet industry with over 200 franchises spread across 38 states and with a presence in Canada. The pet franchise was once named as one of the 500 fastest growing privately owned companies. Ganahl’s company earns over $5 million in revenue each year just from franchising and generates as much as $35 million in total annual sales.
Lesson: Tragedy is not final; it is the courage to continue with the journey that counts.
At just 35 years, Julia Hartz, the co-founder and president at Eventbrite has impressive accolades to her name. In 2014, she was voted among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs and her company was named the Best Places to Work in the San Francisco Bay Area, five times in a row.
Hartz, a former series manager and production developer for popular TV shows such as Rescue Me and Jack Ass, founded Eventbrite when she was just 25 years old. In just eight years, Eventbrite, an online events and experiences ticketing tool hires over 500 employees in seven offices globally, has processed over 200 million tickets and has generated more than $3 billion in ticket sales.
Lesson: Living in fear will simply keep you from attaining your fullest potential. Surround yourself with mentors and confidants who can help you close the confidence gap.
Grainne is the founder and CEO at Viddyad, an online video advertisement company that is growing in leaps and bounds, with clients such as Warner Bros in their portfolio. Born in Ireland, Grainne had to move to the U.S. for college and after completing the course and returning to the UK, then moved back again to San Francisco where she did not know anyone, to start her video advertisement company.
In 2015, the Wall Street Journal Technology named Viddyad one of the top companies to watch out for. Grainne is also the winner of the Spark of Genius award for Technology and the Sunday Independent named her as one of top 50 most influential and powerful businesswomen in Ireland.
Starting a business is scary enough but starting one and becoming successful in a foreign country with no initial networks can be tough enough but that did not deter Grainne from pursuing her dream.
Lesson: Don’t look at challenges as negatives; they are the best learning curves.