Gender segregation has long been practiced around the globe, and it is hard to dispute that fact. Stereotypes abound that depict gender segregation by assigning males to provide money for their household while women remain at home to use this money in productive ways.
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As these women have proven, those stereotypes no longer hold from working hard at running their own successful companies from scratch to becoming influential leaders. And according to statistics, women-owned firms increased by 45% between 2016 and 2017.
Over the last nine years, women-owned firms have experienced five times faster growth than the national average. Women entrepreneurs are making significant economic contributions across various fields, such as hair salon owners and high-tech visionaries.
Below is a list of women entrepreneurs who have overcome great adversities to become successful entrepreneurs, providing ample inspiration.
1. Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post
Huffington is one of the most prominent digital media outlets in the U.S. She holds strong views in life and is an exceptional entrepreneur who sold the site to AOL Inc for $315 Million; she still plays an instrumental role in its operation today.
2. Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo
Nooyi, born in Chennai and the most recognized face among Indian female entrepreneurs, held numerous senior positions before joining PepsiCo in 1994 as president and CFO in 2001. She received India’s prestigious Padma Bhushan award for her business achievements and inspired India’s corporate leadership; most notably, she has helped her business secure over 30 billion in critical deals over recent years.
3. Shradha Sharma of YourStory
Based out of Patna, Shradha is the Founder and Chief Editor of YourStory – an online platform dedicated to entrepreneurs and startups. Prior experience was spent at the Times of India and CNBC TV18; she was selected among 500 LinkedIn influencers as an inspiration. Her efforts are nothing short of fruitful – as their struggle has proven.
4. Suchi Mukherjee of LimeRoad
LimeRoad was established by Suchi Mukherjee in 2012 while she was on maternity leave when the idea first struck. Since then, she has worked at companies such as Skype and Gumtree before forming Limeroad, which quickly takes hold of lifestyle products worldwide while being easily discoverable to customers, creating a niche presence within social e-commerce in India.
5. Vicki Saunders of SheEO
SheEO is an international community for women investors to transform how they finance, support, and celebrate female investors. Vicki Saunders is an American businesswoman and founding member of SheEO who was honored as one of Empowering A Billion Women’s 100 Most Influential Leaders of 2015. Additionally, Vicki is known as an advocate for entrepreneurialism as an effective means for creating positive change around her.
6. Vandana Luthra of VLCC
VLCC operates across Asia, Africa, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. When her daughter was only three years old, Vandana Luthra began her venture as a homemaker in Kolkata, West Bengal. Soon after, VLCC launched in 11 countries across these regions, with Vandana Luthra listed by Fortune India as the 33rd most powerful woman in business in India in 2015.
7. Debbie Fields of Mrs. Fields’ Cookies
Debbie Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields’ Cookies, broke with stereotype housewife stereotypes by creating something so unique as Mrs. Fields cookies. Initially, without sales success or revenue, all her cookies were given out for free as samples. Later her success skyrocketed as she made millions selling baked goods!
8. Amanda Signorelli of Techweek
Amanda is CEO of Techweek, a multi-day conference held across multiple cities that celebrates technology, entrepreneurship, and diversity – while serving as a platform to connect tech startups. Her top goals for Techweek include diversity and inclusion as its central components.
9. Shahnaz Husain of Shahnaz Herbals Inc.
Shahnaz Husain, known as the “Queen of Herbal Beauty Care,” developed her business by tapping into a passion for cosmetics. Through Shahnaz Herbals Inc, which offers skin care products without animal testing, she founded Shahnaz Herbals. For her achievements, she received both the Padma Shri award from India and World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur from 1996 Success Magazine.
These women and others have shown the world that nothing is impossible with determination and the willpower to succeed – so follow your dreams, and you’re sure to do great things!