Gone are the days when women were expected to be only in the kitchen. In this current generation, the world over is recognizing women in a way that has never been done before. Women have become so empowered, they are poised to take over the world with renewed spirit and vigor celebrating women and the Entrepreneurship ecosystem. Today we talk about some of the top women entrepreneurs of all time.
1. Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Winfrey is the founder of not one but three startups. Founder of Oprah Winfrey Network, Harpo Productions, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls. Oprah is a TV personality and director. Apart from being a plaintiff, she has touched the hearts of people all over the world and incidentally, Miss Winfrey’s net worth stands at $2.9 Billion.
Winner of the Cecil DeMille award, Oprah had a humble beginning in rural Mississippi and later moved to Milwaukee starting off as a radio co-host. At the age of 19 Oprah dominated television screens by creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication. For her many contributions to American society, Oprah Winfrey received the nation’s highest civilian honor – The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
2. Kiren Mazumdar Shaw
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One of the most influential people in the world ‘Kiren Mazumdar Shaw’ has also been conferred with the highest French distinction. Named the 85th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, Kiren has a net worth of $3.9 Billion. She founded the biopharma firm Biocon in 1978, a company that treats autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Biocon was started in the garage of a rented house in Bangalore with a seed capital of rupees 10,000. Despite facing credibility challenges because of her gender and her untested business model, she led Biocon to become the first biotechnology company in India to issue an IPO. The market capitalization of the company exceeded expectations, making Biocon the second Indian company to cross the $1 Billion mark on the first day of listing.
3. Sara Blakely
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While Sara Blakely may have started off as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson, she is now one of the most successful and famous woman entrepreneurs in the world. Her business idea, an invention of Spanx – clothes that are to be worn under slacks became so widely accepted, that it became a standard piece of clothing in everyone’s wardrobe. With the creation of Spanx, Sara’s net worth stands at a cool $1.01 Billion.
She is also named the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire by Forbes magazine and one of the Times 100 most influential people. Sara also launched the Sara Blakely Foundation in 2006 to help women through education and entrepreneur training. She is the first female billionaire to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The Giving Pledge, wherein the world’s richest people donate at least half of their wealth to charity.
4. Weili Dai
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Weili Dai is an immigrant from China. Weili Dai came to the United States with a dream in mind and a plan in hand. Dai founded $2.3 Billion worth Marvell technology in 1995. After working as a software technician, she is the only female co-founder of a major semiconductor company and the 95th most powerful woman in the world. According to Forbes, her net worth stands at $770 Million.
Dai is a driving force to expand access to technology in the developing world and advocates for more women to be involved in science and technology. Awarded the Gold Stevie® award for female entrepreneur of the year business products. Dai Rosen the Entrepreneurship ecosystem to become one the most successful businesswomen at the global podium.
5. Richa Kar
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Richa Kar, founder of the online lingerie store Zivame. Rich Kar is perhaps one of the first people in India to revolutionize the way women buy lingerie. Furthermore, the online platform plays a role in educating women across the country about intimate wear – shaping consumer behavior. Richa Kar broke the glass ceiling truly defining the new age of women entrepreneurs in India with this business plan.
Starting from a small office space in 2011, Zivame has now expanded to include more than 5,000 styles, 50 brands, and 100 sizes with a whopping valuation of $100 million. Richa Kar achieved a commendable feat by setting up a business in an industry as personal as lingerie and disrupting the e-commerce industry.
Through all these women business owners, we get to know that success comes to those who strive for it. In this patriarchal world, these women were able to jump sky-high and become an inspiration for other female entrepreneurs. Any woman thinking of starting a business should never feel intimidated by the gender odds of the business world, as we can see that women-owned businesses have an equal success rate as compared to men.
Lastly, all small business owners should keep working on their dreams and whenever you feel dejected, look up to these business leaders and their entrepreneurial journey.