According to a recent survey by human resources software company Gusto, in 2020 and 2021, startups led by women accounted for 49 percent of all new ventures, compared to just 28 percent in 2019. Despite this growth, only 2.1 percent of venture capital funding went to women-led businesses in 2022. This is despite the fact that women-led companies, according to a Boston Consulting Group study, return 150 percent more on average for every dollar invested in them than businesses led by men.
This article in Newsweek profiles five women founders who are making strides in varied industries such as footwear, healthcare, food and beverage, tabletop games and technology. Their stories inspire while also offering useful tips on how to navigate the initial hurdles of entrepreneurship.
Women entrepreneurs in the US have the traction and opportunities available today due in part to women who began to blaze the trail dating as far back as the mid-1700s. This article from History.com shares the stories of seven of these women – many of whom launched businesses that survived for a century or longer!
Chanae Richards is the CEO & Principal Designer of ọlọrọ interiors, an interior design firm with offices in Philadelphia and New York. Chanae is also a graduate of the Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate program. She was recently featured in this article and video in Black Enterprise. We are so proud of the amazing journey she has been on and can’t wait to see where success next leads her!
Featured recently in this article in the Cornell Chronicle, Abena Foli shares how her inspiration to bring West African flavors to the US marketplace was the idea behind her launch of POKS Spices. Foli is a graduate of the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate program and discusses how specific coursework as well as the connections made in the program opened her eyes to funding and resources that were available to launch and scale her business. We are so proud of all that she had achieved so far and can’t wait to see where POKS Spices goes next!
Tiffany James , a 27-year-old African American woman from New York City, is the founder of Modern Blk Girl, which helps educate women on how they can build wealth through investing. James was inspired to launch this venture and share her knowledge after she turned a $10,000 starting investment in the stock market into $2 million in just 2 years. Read more about her investing journey and her commitment to educating women about building wealth in this article in Black Enterprise.
Monique Rodriguez, self-made millionaire and founder of Mielle Organics, founded her natural hair care brand in the wake of losing her son at eight months of pregnancy. She decided to leave her career as a nurse and pour her energy into her startup which would also enable her to cope with her post-partum depression. That creative outlet that helped her get through the trauma of losing her son has become a multimillion-dollar brand sold in over 100,000 stores across the U.S.
Rodriquez mentions that the best career advice she’s ever received came from her husband who said, “Success, if not owned, is rented — and rent is due everyday. Don’t get complacent, don’t get comfortable, and never feel like you ‘made it.’ Because when you get to that place, there’s always someone trying to take your spot. You have to continue working and striving as if you know [your spot] is not guaranteed.” To read more about Rodriguez’s journey, check out this piece on CNBC.
In this piece, she shares her thoughts on how to generate side income. Specifically, she states the importance of determining your existing skills, experimenting with different opportunities for growth and outlining income streams that best work for you and your needs. Keep up the amazing work, Patrina!
Srishti Mendhekar and Priyansha Mishra are the founders of On Her Way, a platform that connects women travelers to a local woman who can help them awareness about safe spaces and general information about the area. “Women have needs and issues, which can be broadly categorized into safety and hygiene, and no one is solving that. The current travel ecosystem is made by men for men. We want to change that,” says Srishti. Read more by accessing an article about how they founded their startup in YourStory.com.
When co-founders of LOULOU LOLLIPOP, an eco-friendly baby product company, looked to expand their company globally, they realized they didn’t have the right to use their name in Europe and China. It was a three-year legal battle with a hefty price tag to nail down the trademark issues. Co-founder Eleanor Lee shared, “There will be challenges and mistakes along the road, there were for us. They’re stepping-stones. Don’t dwell on them.” To read more about their adventure in launching a global brand, read this piece in Women of Influence.
In this piece in Inc., Cloth & Paper’s founder, Ashley Reynolds explains how she used social commerce to grow her stationery business during the pandemic. The company leverages social media platforms to share instructional videos that show viewers how best to use their journals and planners. While they predominantly sell products on Shopify, they have seen a growing trend of customers now buying directly from Instagram and Facebook. Click the link above to read more!