These days, it seems successful entrepreneurs are popping up everywhere. And some of the most impressive entrepreneurial success stories are those of women who have accomplished amazing things in every area of business imaginable. From IT to retail, and from marketing to inventions, women have shown they are a force to be reckoned with. So we’ve put together a list of 20 of these amazing women to pay tribute to their accomplishments and recognize their contributions to the entrepreneurial world. They are truly an inspiration to us all.
Sarah Prevette - Sprouter.com
An entrepreneur long immersed in the startup community, Sarah has a firsthand familiarity with the common pitfalls of early stage startups and a grasp of the tips and tools that foster success. Sarah is the founder of Sprouter.com, and the Twestival Organizer for Toronto.
Mari Smith - MariSmith.com
Dubbed “the pied piper of the online world” by Fast Company Magazine, Mari Smith is a relationship marketing specialist and social media keynote speaker, trainer, and consultant. Mari believes that “there’s no such thing as competition, most definitely for the small business owner and certainly for the solopreneur, because there’s only one ‘you’.”
Gabrielle Bernstein - Gabrielle Bernstein Inc.
In her book, “Add more ~ing to Your Life,” Gabrielle Bernstein says, “My mission in this lifetime is to help guide my generation to shift their search for happiness from the outside to the inside.” Gabrielle is also the founder of Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, a non-profit professional organization that connects female entrepreneurs, and HerFuture.com, which connects women with mentors.
Genevieve Thiers - SitterCity.com
Genevieve Thiers is the founder of SitterCity.com, the $5 million Inc. 500 company that matches service providers with service seekers in the areas of babysitting, housekeeping, tutoring, and more. Based in Chicago, the site hosts over a million profiles and provides services coast to coast.
Maxine Clark - Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Maxine Clark served as the President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Payless Shoesource, Inc. prior to starting Build-A-Bear Workshop. The company has over 340 stores all over the world and has annual revenues of over $120 million.
Robin Koval - Kaplan Thaler Group, Ltd
As co-founder of the Kaplan Thaler Group, Robin Koval is a marketing strategist and new products expert. Her marketing ideas include, the “Yes, Yes, Yes” Herbal Essences campaign as well as the famous AFLAC duck quack. Robin is also the best selling author of several books on marketing.
Nancy Evans - iVillage.com
Nancy Evans is co-founder of iVillage.com: The Women’s Network. The company, begun in 1995, provides effective solutions to everyday challenges facing women in their many roles as professionals, parents, friends and partners. iVillage was acquired by NBC Universal, Inc. in 2006.
Ann Moore - Inventor of The Snugli
A pediatric nurse by trade, Ann Moore invented the Snugli, a baby-carrying sling, while on a Peace Corps mission in the 1960s. To this day, Snugli is the most popular on-body baby carrier in the world, and is now owned by Evenflo.
Linda Mason - Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Founded by Linda Mason in 1986, Bright Horizons is the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, back-up care, early education, and work/life solutions. Linda Mason is also the author of The Working Mother’s Guide to Life: Strategies, Secrets, and Solutions.
Lisa Druxman - Stroller Strides
Stroller Strides, Lisa Druxman’s brainchild, was started out of a need for Lisa to stay fit right after having her first child. She started the business from her home in San Diego, and now the company boasts over 300 franchises nationwide.
Carrie Wilkerson - Barefoot Marketing Group
Carrie Wilkerson, known as The Barefoot Executive, is the founder of Barefoot Marketing Group, where Carrie and her network of experts have quickly become the definitive resource for work at home professionals. (Check out our interview with Carrie - here )
Gina Bianchini - Ning.com
After Harmonic Communications, a company she co-founded, was acquired by Dentsu, Gina Bianchini co-founded Ning, an online platform for people to create their own social networks. Ning was launched in 2005 and has since raised over $104 million in capital and has become a top 100 global website and one of the world’s most valuable start-ups.
Juliette Brindak - MissOandFriends.com
One of the most inspiring stories on our list, Juliette Bindak founded her company, Miss O and Friends, at the age of 10. By the time she was 19, just last year, the company had a value of more than $15 million. She also published her first book at the age of 16, which has sold over 120,000 copies.
Ali Brown - Ali International
Recognized on the 2009 Inc 500 list and recipient of the 2010 Enterprising Women of the Year award, Ali Brown is a true entrepreneur. She quit her job in 1998 and was down to less than $20 when she wrote an e-book, and everything changed. She has since become a foremost authority in driving sales and marketing via e-mail publishing, and even publishes her own magazine, Ali.
Loral Langemeier - LiveOutLoud.com
After reaching a net worth of $1 million, Loral Langemeier decided she would start Live Out Loud, a coaching and seminar company to help others reach this same level of success. The company started small with one office in 2002 and within 5 years grew to a $19 million dollar company. She is also the resident money expert on the Dr. Phil Show.
Sara Blakely - Spanx
2002 Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Sara Blakely says on her Spanx website, “With $5,000 in savings out of the back of my apartment, a whole lot of internet research, patent writing, cold-calling, less-than-shy demonstrations for buyers, and a call from Oprah…Spanx was born!” Sara has also formed the Sara Blakely Foundation, which focuses on supporting and empowering women around the world.
Amilya Antonetti - Lucky Napkin
Because of a severe allergic reaction her newborn son had to synthetic cleaning products, Amilya Antonetti founded Soap Works, a company that produced natural cleaning products. After selling the company, Amilya started Lucky Napkin, a company that assists people in taking their ideas “from mind to market.”
Susan Handley - Beijo Bags
Susan Handley first started designing handbags when she was ten years old. Now, Beijo Bags provides opportunities for over 1000 independent sales reps all over the US and Canada to have fun and make money, selling top quality handbags and accessories. The company currently produces over $25 million in annual sales.
Kate Everett Thorp - Divine Caroline (Real Girls Media)
Named one of the Top 25 Women to Watch by Advertising Age, Kate Everett Thorp has masterminded a media network for women, called Real Girls Media. She has received numerous accolades, including Real Girls Media being named in OnMedia’s Top 100 Companies list.
Janet Rickstrew - Tomboy Tools
After attending a Pampered Chef party 2000, Janet Rickstrew saw an opportunity for a similar concept with tools designed just for women, and Tomboy Tools was born. The company started with less than 1,000 square feet of warehouse space and now operates a 13,000 square-foot distribution facility on Denver’s West Side. Their Hammer Out Breast Cancer campaign has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Please join us in congratulating these amazing entrepreneurial women on their inspiring successes. And if you’re an amazing woman entrepreneur, be sure to share you story with us!