Small-to-Medium Businesses: 10 Successful Female Entrepreneurs


Women are no longer watching men reign in the business world. The male-ruling traditions are being thrown aside little by little, and female entrepreneurs are amongst those catching up. While there may not yet be as many female business founders and owners, the businesses led by ladies are glowing with success. They’re more capital-efficient, earn 35 percent higher return on investment and can even bring in 12 percent higher revenue than their male counterparts.

These ten women are showing their fortitude and creativity by starting and running their own companies. Their missions range from helping those in need to designing beautiful accessories.

1. Patty Lennon

When confronted with unhappiness as a mother, Patty Lennon sought out and located the root of her sadness: “I thought being a good mother meant I stopped caring for my needs when I started caring for my children’s needs.” She overcame this falsity, drastically bettered her life and founded Mom Gets a Life. Now, Lennon offers life coaching in order to help other struggling mothers. She also donates a portion of the Mom Gets a Life profits to Kiva in an effort to battle terrorism and assist impoverished moms abroad.

2. Elyse Petersen

Elyse Petersen is passionate about tea. She spent time with tea farmers in Japan and is a Global Tea Ambassador with the International Tea Farms Alliance. Petersen, as per her interests in tea as well as food security and sustainability, recently founded Tealet, a startup aiming to connect tea farmers with tea drinkers in the United States. Tealet was recently chosen as one of the top 33 companies showcased at the fifth 500 Startups event.

3. Lesley Marincola

Lesley Marincola has been featured on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for her global entrepreneurial achievements. Her energy company, Angaza Design, distributes solar power systems in Africa. She has been noticed in Businessweek, Forbes, Stanford University and more for her mission to tackle the world’s most widespread problems. She’s received Santa Clara University Global Social Benefit Incubator scholarship, is a 2012 Tech Awards Laureate, 2013 Echoing Green Fellow and World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper.

4. Leah Busque

If you’ve ever detested the grocery or running to pick up the dry cleaning, Leah Busque had you in mind. She founded TaskRabbit in 2008. TaskRabbit is an app that allows individuals to outsource certain errands. It was nominated for Best Mobile App Crunchie in 2011.

5. Desiree Vargas Wrigley

After Hurricane Katrina, Desiree Vargas Wrigley was inspired to start GiveForward, a fundraising tool for out-of-pocket medical expenses. She and GiveForward’s co-founder, Ethan Austin, have assisted in raising more than $15 million dollars. This money has been distributed to in-need individuals across the globe. These individuals include a graduate student in India who was hit by a bus and an infant in South Korea born with an underdeveloped trachea. When Sarah Burke, Canadian freestyle skier, was injured and passed away, GiveForward raised $250,000 for her family in less than one day. Wrigley was also named on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of successful entrepreneurs.

6. Natalie Gordon

When Natalie Gordon was pregnant with her son, she just couldn’t find a registry that worked for her. She founded Babylist to help other moms conveniently register desired baby items from both local and independent stores. She’s now working with five others in order to deliver personalized and easier-to-use baby registering.

7. Amanda Steinberg

Amanda Steinberg founded DailyWorth, an online community that connects women interested in money. The idea, to help women earn, save and spend, was launched in 2009. Steinberg has since been featured in TIME, the New York Times, Forbes, Parenting, Cosmopolitan and on numerous major television networks.

8. Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels is co-founder of Clarity Way Rehab, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in rural Pennsylvania. She originally worked in education, owning and operating Robin’s Nest Daycare and Preschool. After watching and living through her husband’s rehabilitation process, she and her husband, Justin Daniels, decided to open Clarity Way. They hope to make rehabilitation as comfortable and easy for families as possible.

9. Susan Connor

Susan Connor is a designer in New York City. SusyJack, her independent paper, pattern and lifestyle collection includes fabrics, calendars and other various desktop items and accessories. The line is only manufactured in the United States and supports local vendors and resources.

10. Kristin Fraser Cotte

In 2004, Kristin Fraser Cotte launched The Grapeseed Company, which offers botanical beauty from wine. The idea was inspired after Cotte and her husband’s long sailing expedition, which was fueled solely by solar and wind power. This gave Cotte a deeper understanding of earth-based potential. Her vinotherapy products, made from the byproduct of wine and certified organic materials, can be seen in Organic Spa, Health Magazine, The LA Times, Natural Solutions, Women's Health, Natural Solutions and more.

These ten women, and all the other successful women not mentioned, are challenging traditions, and the benefits are overflowing. As women continue to put their diligence, initiative and ingenuity forward, who knows what the future may hold?

Photo credit: Dell's Official Flickr Page via photopin cc



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