Photo: Young Entrepreneur
We’re thrilled to announce the latest issue of Self-Made Magazine, which launched last week, and we’re especially excited about our cover story, “50 Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Us.”While gender is hopefully becoming less and less of an issue in today’s business world, and while every entrepreneur who achieves success is inspiring, we recognise that women still have many unique obstacles to overcome as entrepreneurs, and we wanted to recognise those who have broken through barriers and found the ultimate success in entrepreneurship!
Here is our blog version of this inspiring story. Please help us congratulate these women and honour their inspiring stories by spreading this post around.
With her husband Gary, Diane Heavin founded the fitness chain, Curves in 1992. The chain has since grown into the world's largest fitness franchise, with nearly 10,000 in over 70 countries. The company, which serves over 4 million members, is about strengthening women, as their motto states.
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.
Known as one of the founders of the self-help movement, Louise Hay is an accomplished author and publisher. Her company, Hay House Publishing, has published books for some of the leaders in self-help, including Dr. Wayne Dyer and Jerry and Ester Hicks, selling millions of copies worldwide.
As chairman of Hancock Prospecting, one of Australia's leading mining companies, Gina Rinehart was the recipient of the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award, the 2009 Telstra West Australian Business Woman of the Year award. She has enjoyed numerous other business achievements as well and is credited with being the world's first female billionaire.
A perfect example of finding a need and filling it, Julie Aigner-Clark founded Baby Einstein in 1998 when she was unable to find educational videos for her infant daughter. After seeing revenues of nearly $10 million in 2000, Aigner-Clark sold her company to the Walt Disney Company.
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.
In 2004, at the age of 14, Ashley Qualls started a website called WhateverLife.com, which was designed to provide free MySpace layouts and HTML tutorials for teens. The popular website, still true to its original theme, gets an average of 60 million page views per month from 7 million unique visitors.
At the age of 15, Catherine Cook co-founded MyYearbook.com, a social networking site that enables its 20 million plus members to meet new people. Currently a student at Georgetown University, Catherine has been reported on extensively by CNBC, MTV, ABC News, Fox News, BusinessWeek, the San Francisco Chronicle, and CBS.
Nely Galán launched her company, Galán Entertainment, in 1994 to create multi-platform content, specializing in the Latino market. To date, Galán is the only producer to have simultaneous hit shows in English and Spanish in the U.S. Galán has also appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.
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.
Named as one of Forbes' Most Influential Women in Media in 2009, Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post. Prior to The Huffington Post, Huffington hosted a website called Ariannaonline.com. Her first foray into the Internet was a website called Resignation.com, which called for the resignation of President Bill Clinton.
recognised 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.
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.
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.
Susan Handley first started designing handbags when she was 10 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.
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.
Inspired by her dedication to preserving the tradition of family mealtimes and driven by the spirit of entrepreneurialism, Doris Christopher founded The Pampered Chef from the basement of her suburban Chicago home in 1980. Within 20 years, the company had blossomed into a $700 million enterprise, and was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2002.
An award-winning author, blogger, and programmer, Gina Trapani was the founding editor of Lifehacker.com, a blog that offers 'Tips and downloads for getting things done'. Her writing has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Wired, PC World, Fast Company, Maximum PC, and Macworld magazines. Wired magazine awarded her its prestigious Rave Award in 2006, and in 2009 and 2010, Fast Company named her one of the Most Influential Women in Technology.
Founder of Break Free Beauty, Sarah Maria is a body-image expert and entrepreneur who helps people love their bodies no matter how they look. Maria has trained with well-known teachers and physicians, including Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Simon, Wayne Dyer, and Jack Canfield, among others. Her book, Love Your Body, Love Your Life, published in 2009 has received rave reviews.
With huge amounts of student debt to her name, Roni Deutch opened up the Law Offices of Roni Deutch from a small one bedroom condo in West Sacramento over 19 years ago. She maxed out a credit card to pay for her first television commercial, which aired on the noon news in Sacramento. Today, Roni Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation is the nation's largest tax resolution law firm, and Roni, who contributes regularly in magazines and TV, is a recognised authority on US tax law.
At a young age, Vicki Donlan exhibited entrepreneurial tendencies. She put on backyard circuses at age 7 and led neighbourhood kids in a babysitting coop at age 11. As an adult, Vicki has started businesses in diet consulting, PR & Marketing consulting, and publishing, profiling women in business over a multi-state area.
Tamara Monosoff is the founder and CEO of mum Inventors, Inc., a company with three branded elements: consumer products with the mum Invented trademark; an online community, providing information, interaction, and inspiration; and educational offerings for women entrepreneurs, produced by Tamara, a best-selling author, columnist, and consummate entrepreneur. Tamara has been honored with numerous awards, such as one of the Top 10 Influential Women of the East Bay, Small Business Person of the Year, and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 1995, after the birth of her first child, Lesley Spencer Pyle founded HBWM (Home-Based Working mums), a professional association and online community of parents who work at home and those who would like to. The company is comprised of six websites that help people realise their dream of staying home while making a living as an entrepreneur.
In 1999, Nancy J Price co-founded SheKnows.com, one of the nation's largest all-around women's general interest Internet communities. In the midst of starting several businesses and launching several award-winning websites, Nancy also served as editor-in-chief of four national print magazines. She now serves as SheKnows.com's executive editor.
Liz McKinley founded Pinnacle Petroleum in 1995, after working in the petroleum industry for several years prior to that. Today, Pinnacle generates over $130 million in annual revenues and operates in a six-state area as a petroleum wholesaler and distributor. Liz has received a number of awards for her entrepreneurialism, including the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Penelope Trunk, former professional beach volleyball player and Fortune 500 company marketing department head, is the founder of 3 internet startups. Her most recent venture, Brazen Careerist, is a professional network and career management tool for next-generation professionals. Penelope's career advice appears in more than 200 newspapers.
Alison Maslan is an author, life and career coach, homeopath, international speaker, and founder of the Homeopathic Wellness centre in Encitas, California. Alison is also the creator and president of The Blast Off! Life Coaching Program, which she developed to help people learn to identify and release self-limiting roadblocks, and to share a solution- and strategy-oriented roadmap for creating more prosperous lives.
In 1994, Christian Rucker founded The White Company after identifying a gap in the market for beautiful, affordable home accessories in white. Originally a mail-order catalogue, The White Company produces eight brochures a year, operates highly successful website, has over 450,000 customers, and has become one of the UK's fastest growing multi-channel retailers.
After taking a college course called Accounting for Real Estate Millionaires, Melissa Greczy knew that she would never be an employee again--and she hasn't looked back since. She made her first million in real estate by the age of 23, and is the co-founder of both Project Gifted and The Doman Advantage.
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