Since the time of Madame C. J. Walker, women entrepreneurs have been forging their own paths. They have brought together incredible ideas and shown the tenacity to bring them to life through hard work. For anyone interested in starting their own business and achieving success as an entrepreneur, looking at some of these famous female entrepreneurs can help provide us with inspiration and a chance to see what these trail-blazing women have accomplished.
Our list includes women from around the world that have set a path for the future by providing inspirational leadership, innovative ideas, and the ingenuity to forge new paths, fostered by their brilliant minds. The highlighted female entrepreneurs made contributions that have infiltrated popular culture and in turn made them household names, shining a light on the path toward success. They have managed to shake up their respective industries with what they have achieved.
Let’s get started by looking at 30 of these incredible women. See which ones help to get your own creative juices flowing.
Famous Women Entrepreneurs
- Arianna Huffington: Huffington founded The Huffington Post, which was then sold to AOL for $315 million. The site continues to carry her name and is a popular resource for news and opinion pieces. Since that successful venture, Huffington has also gone on to write a successful book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Success.
- Debbie Fields: Fields founded Mrs. Fields Bakers back in 1977. Over the past 40 years, it has grown to be a famous, widespread retailer of fresh cookies in the United States. The company has now spread to a variety of countries around the world. Countless people love the freshness of Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.
- Sheryl Sandberg: Sandberg is one of the most famous COOs in the country, serving as the COO of Facebook. She also serves on several boards, including some dedicated to women in the workforce, and is considered one of the most influential people in the world. She has also written two successful books.
- Oprah Winfrey: Winfrey is one of the most recognizable names in female entrepreneurship. She has expanded her empire across various sectors, including working as an actress, talk show host, and producer. Her talk show alone was on the air for 25 years, spanning generations.
Successful Women Entrepreneurs
- Cindy Mi: Mi is the CEO and one of the founders of the popular English-learning platform VIPKid. The platform pairs native English speakers in North America with Chinese students. She started the company in 2013, and it has received over $825 million in funding.
- Neeti Mehta: Mehta helped co-found Automation Anywhere and now serves as the Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Culture Architecture. Automation Anywhere has developed robots that can integrate into a variety of business functions. The company has received $550 million in funding.
- Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey: Wojcicki is the CEO and, together with Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe, the top-rated consumer genetic testing product. Customers learn about their ancestry and what their genes say about their traits. The company was founded in 2006 and has received $786 million in funding.
- Michelle Zatlyn: Zatlyn is the COO and co-founder of CloudFare. CloudFare has received $331.1 million in funding and focuses on improving web speed and providing security online. The application protects businesses from attacks while also optimizing performance.
- Sheila Gujrathi, M.D.: Dr. Gujrathi is the COO & co-founder of Gossamer Bio, a company dedicated to creating different types of therapeutic products. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised $330 million in funding.
- Mariam Naficy: Naficy is the CEO and Founder of Minted, which works to help artists and creative people learn about their field, build their exposure, and nurture their businesses. She is considered one of the most innovative women in business in response to her successful venture. It has raised $297.1 million in funding.
- Tina Sharkey: Sharkey is a co-founder of the company Brandless and now serves as its CEO. This company aims to provide customers fair prices on food and personal care products without compromising quality. It emphasizes removing the so-called ‘brand tax’ that customers generally pay to purchase brand-name items. The company has raised $292.5 million in funding.
- Payal Kadakia: Kadakia is a co-founder of ClassPass and now serves as its Executive Chairman after stepping down as the CEO in 2017. The company helps customers find fitness classes they want to attend and then book them. It has received $239 million in funding.
- Emily Weiss: Weiss is the CEO and founder of Glossier, which produces direct-to-consumer beauty products. The company has received $186.4 million in funding.
- Shan-Lyn Ma: Ma is a co-founder of Zola and now serves as its CEO. Zola focuses on the popular wedding registry industry. It has received $140.8 million in funding.
- Sandy Jen: Jen is a co-founder of Honor and now serves as its CTO. Honor is a home care company that provides a network of home care providers. It was founded in 2015 and has received $115 million in funding.
- Jessica Richman: Richman helped to co-found uBiome and now serves as its CEO. uBiome has worked to create technology that will allow for the sequencing of the human microbiome. It was founded in 2012 and has received $109.9 million in funding.
- Steph Korey: Korey is the CEO of Away, which she also helped to co-found. Away focuses on providing customers with high-quality luggage within an affordable price range. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised $107.5 million in funding.
- Edith Harbaugh: Harbaugh is the CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. This tech platform helps software teams develop and launch their products by serving feature flags to help guide the process. The company has raised $76.3 million in funding.
- Reshma Saujani: Saujani founded and now serves as the CEO of Girls Who Code, a platform dedicated to educating girls and women about computer science and the various fields in which computers are used. The company has raised $6.5 million in funding.
Global Women Entrepreneurs
- Cristina Junqueira: Junqueira is one of the co-founders of NuBank and now serves as the VP of Branding and Business Development. The company offers products such as an international credit card and personal loans. NuBank has received $707.6 million in funding and is based in Brazil.
- Annie Tao: Tao is one of the co-founders of Horizon Robotics and now serves as the VP of Operations. Horizon Robotics works to provide integrated AI solutions. The company has received $700 million in funding and is based in Beijing.
- Anne Boden: Boden is the CEO and the founder of Starling Bank, which was formed in 2014. The company seeks to improve banking through a mobile banking application and a debit card to make managing finances easier for customers. The company is based in London and has received £233 million in funding.
- Josefin Landgard: Landgard is a co-founder of KRY and now serves as the COO of the company. This Swedish company operates as a CE-certified and app-based platform for doctors who want to conduct meetings online. The company has received about €79.1 million.
- Karime German: German is a co-founder of Grin Scooters and serves as the Internal Ops Manager. Grin Scooters is a software company that runs a network of shared electric scooters. It is based in Mexico and has spread to other cities and countries. It has raised $72.7 million in funding.
Black Women Entrepreneurs
- Julia Collins: Collins is both the CEO and co-founder of Zume Pizza, which aims to improve the pizza delivery market by sourcing ingredients from local farmers and cooking the pizza while it is being delivered. In 2020, it shifted away from the pizza concept and began focusing on food packaging and logistics. The business has received $423 million in funding.
- Lisa Skeete Tatum: Tatum is the CEO of Landit, which she also helped launch as a co-founder. The company works to promote the success of women and other groups in the professional world. The company works with businesses to help them attract and develop more diverse talent. The company has raised $17.6 million in funding.
- Michelle Cordeiro Grant: Grant is both the founder and the current CEO of WearLively, a company creating lingerie, underwear, and swimwear. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised $15 million in funding.
- Morgan DeBaun: DeBaun is both CEO and co-founder of Blavity, a media company dedicated to the experiences of black millennials. The company was founded in 2014 and is considered one of the fastest-growing digital media outlets. It has raised $9.4 million in funding.
- Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins: Ellis-Lamkins is one of the co-founders of Promise and now serves as its CEO. The company works to reduce the jail population by providing an alternative. The company offers arrestees customized plans and conditions they need to fulfill, such as mental health treatment and job training. The company has raised $3.1 million in funding.
- Jasmine Crowe: Crowe is the founder and the CEO of Goodr. Goodr focuses on sustainably managing surplus food to reduce food waste while combating hunger. The company has received $186.4 million in funding.
What We Can Learn from These Entrepreneurs
These female entrepreneurs are inspiring and can help provide other women with valuable lessons they can explore and build their own careers as entrepreneurs. Each of these women not only had the creativity to see a potential market opportunity and seize it, but they also had the perseverance to keep working in the face of obstacles. They also had the business understanding that allowed them to navigate the complicated world of building an organization and securing the funding that would bring their idea to life. Those interested in starting their own business and becoming entrepreneurs will often find that earning an MBA can give them an excellent starting point to help them launch their careers.
Earning your MBA through the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Through UT Chattanooga, you have the chance to earn your MBA in a competitive, thorough program that will prepare you for the professional world. You even have the option to earn your degree through an entirely online program, which can help professional students work towards their goals while still holding on to their day jobs. We also offer a flexible MBA program that provides a mix of face-to-face classes and online courses so that you can take advantage of the benefits of each.
When earning your MBA, you can select a concentration, such as business analytics, finance, or healthcare administration, allowing you to make the choice that makes the most sense for your goals or you can select electives that fit with your career plans. Students working full-time can typically complete the program in four semesters, while part-time students generally take six semesters.
Whether you choose in-person classes, online classes, or a combination of both, your MBA program from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will provide you with a range of courses covering all aspects of business administration. You have access to outstanding faculty to guide you and educate you. You will leave the program ready to succeed in the business world and have mentors to help you navigate the steps toward your dreams.Get started now working towards your MBA and see how it can help you take your first steps towards your goals of being a business owner.