13 Female Founders On Why They Started Their Companies

What’s The Bottom Line? Candid, frank, funny, witty and radically transparent, first-person anecdotes and lessons learned on the realities of being an entrepreneur. Submitted by female/femme-identifying founders.

Why are you starting your company? If you’re not in the realm of entrepreneurship, you might be surprised to know that women are dominating the startup field. As of 2017, women comprise 40% of all startup founders in the United States. Women build companies with less capital at higher success rates than our male counterparts (holla), along with creating more jobs, and higher overall company growth. Black women specifically are leading the charge as the most educated and largest growing group of entrepreneurs in America - period.  If women entrepreneurs were their own country, we would have the fifth highest GDP in the world! 

If women entrepreneurs were their own country, we would have the fifth highest GDP in the world.

What’s The Bottom Line? Candid, frank, funny, witty and radically transparent, first-person anecdotes and lessons learned on the realities of being an entrepreneur. Submitted by female/femme-identifying founders.

Why are you starting your company? If you’re not in the realm of entrepreneurship, you might be surprised to know that women are dominating the startup field. As of 2017, women comprise 40% of all startup founders in the United States. Women build companies with less capital at higher success rates than our male counterparts (holla), along with creating more jobs, and higher overall company growth. Black women specifically are leading the charge as the most educated and largest growing group of entrepreneurs in America - period.  If women entrepreneurs were their own country, we would have the fifth highest GDP in the world! 

So for all of you out there who identify as women or femme entrepreneurs (or wannapreneurs who are on the verge of turning your side hustle into a full-time thing), welcome to a very cool club that’s only going to keep growing. 

Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite members of this awesome spinsterhood who we’ve met this past year in the process of getting this company started. Check out the reasons why these women started their companies, and don't forget to check out their websites and social channels if you’re looking for inspiration and insight along with your own journey! 

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Kara Loewentheil

UnF*ck Your Brain

I am a confidence coach; I teach smart feminist women how to overcome anxiety and self-doubt to create the lives they want or enjoy the lives they already have. 

I started my business because I saw that too many feminist, high-achieving women living with daily anxiety, insecurity, and self-doubt. Society teaches women to doubt themselves. And no matter how committed you are to a politics of equality, it doesn't change the way your brain is wired on its own. Once I transformed my own brain to overcome anxiety and self-doubt and learned how to create self-confidence by changing my thoughts, I became obsessed with sharing this work with other women. You don't have to live with constant self-critical thoughts and inadequate feelings. There is another way to live, and I want to make sure as many women as possible experience it. 

Website   |   Facebook   |   Instagram | Podcast

 

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Anj Handa

Inspiring Women Changemakers

Inspiring Women Changemakers is a dynamic movement of women leading transformational change - at work, in society, and in the world.

In 2014, I led a high-profile campaign to help a woman and her two little girls claim asylum in the UK, based on the risk of Female Genital Mutilation to the small children. I pulled together a top legal team and set up a Change.org petition. The petition gathered 128,000 signatures and attracted attention from global media, Government Ministers and even personalities such as Richard Branson. Unfortunately, the family was eventually deported, but I led a fundraising campaign through a local charity which secured their accommodation and schooling for a full year.

Through this process, I learned about leading from the heart as well as the head. I learned about the power of authentic connections, online and offline. Mostly, I learned that by gathering professional, motivated women together, in collaboration with others, that it’s possible to make an impact on the lives of others on a massive scale.

My experiences planted the seed for Inspiring Women Changemakers, which I launched at the end of 2016. They showed me what I’m capable of beyond my professional life and gave me a thirst for doing even more. I was brought into contact with influential and inspirational people from all around the world, who continue to uplift me, and I wanted to provide this support for other women through a virtual network created for social good. It’s changed my life beyond recognition. Join in?

Website   |   Twitter    |   Instagram

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Michelle Bucior

Photos By Michelle

When I was about 11 years old my parents bought me a disposable camera. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. 

Taking photos has always been something I’ve been passionate about and love doing, but it was always just a hobby. Something fun I did for myself and with friends. Becoming a photographer professionally, for me, was always a bit of a pipe dream. Something I never thought would happen, but was always in the back of my mind. Only recently has that dream started to become reality. If there was a quote to sum it all up, I’d have to go with this one: “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” 

Instagram

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Ellen Duffer & Erin Jones

Lennia Consulting Group

Lennia Consulting Group offers digital marketing and editorial solutions for writers, publishers, and booksellers, as well as other nonprofits.

After several years of hearing that many publishers, authors, and nonprofits felt like they were lacking in marketing resources, we decided to take a risk and start offering these skills ourselves. Though it has taken a lot of continuous reaffirmation of our value, we're happy to share our knowledge with a wider audience than just our employers. Having a co-founder to rely on has been instrumental in our success!

Website   |   Twitter

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Minda Harts

The Memo

I am a huge proponent of collaboration. The best songs are the ones that had the right collaboration. Business is no different. Fabolous said, “Everybody calm down, there’s enough to go around, you just gotta say how much you want.” More females founders need to grab a hold of that gem and stop functioning in a scarcity mentality. Supporting one another is how we change the ratio!

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

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Yvonne Chang & Jae Lee

Wildrence

Wildrence makes rich spatial design through layers of storytelling, sensory engagement, and adventure. As a forward-thinking design studio based in New York City,  we create seamless interactive experiences through the combination of technology and touchable environments. In a busy metropolitan city, we want to give unexpected and magical moments so people can be more playful in the world they live in.

Jumping into this adventure was a leap, but worth it. After working in different architecture studios for a couple years, we wanted an opportunity to create real change in the world without the long turn-around time that comes with a conventional office or project. Working for ourselves gave us that opportunity to make what we want when we want. 

Website   |   Instagram

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Kristen Ablamsky, Claire Humphreys, & Rachel Renock

Wethos

We dedicated our day-to-day (and let’s be honest, night-to-night) working on big brand advertising campaigns - strategy, creative, and accounts. We loved mass communications, problem-solving and doing good work, but wanted nothing more than to do it for organizations who were focused on the problems that really mattered.  

We started Wethos because the non-profit industry deserves everything a for-profit gets but struggles a whole lot more to get it despite the work they do for local communities, and our global one. They're starved of high quality, affordable work. And people like us, who want nothing more than to do good, for people who do good, are flooding into the job market every day - and they’re looking for work with organizations like the ones that now come to us for help.  

Website   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

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Eva Avenue

Nightly Noodle Monthly Publishing Company

The Noodle publishes stuff other people don’t publish; whets the appetite; provides a hyperlocal experience with an analog vibe; never bores the reader. As publisher and founder, I combine my training as a journalist and editor with my experience and education as an artist to create a unique brand of literature and publishing deliverables. 

I started my business to have a voice. I started my business so I could have something to anchor me to myself that no one could pull apart or take away.  I started my business to publish writing on my own terms, by my own rules. I started my business to generate energy and connection among people. I started my business because Rolling Stone is dead.

Website

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Lauren Bealore

Y.A.B (Young Ambitious and Beautiful)

My Co-Founders and I built a strategic vision of three main entities that we wanted to include: Business Development, Community Engagement, and Mentorship, and Personal Development. From research of where women, especially women of color, falter statistically in business, we felt that these three areas were where the statistics needed to change…and so the mission began. All three of us were surrounded by networks of women at the time that were recent college graduates embarking on their careers, but many of them beginning to create separate ventures, whether full time or part-time, that brought a unique aesthetic to their professional endeavors. At this time (2012) there were not many social media outlets or news publications focusing on entrepreneurial growth for women of color or millennials, two demographics that all three of us represented. We wanted to see an immense change in those statistics so that future generations could see representation that gave them a vision of the plethora of professional opportunities.

When my Co-Founders Courtney and Brittany Daisy and I initially started Y.A.B., we wanted to create an organization that operated similarly to that of a chamber of commerce or venture conglomerate (a corporation that is made up of a number of different, seemingly unrelated businesses). In a conglomerate, one company owns a controlling stake in a number of smaller companies, which conduct business separately. Each of a conglomerate's subsidiary businesses runs independently of the other business divisions, but the subsidiaries' management reports to senior management at the parent company. The largest conglomerates diversify business risk by participating in a number of different markets, although some conglomerates elect to participate in a single industry." Looking at the rankings of the top biggest conglomerates in the U.S. such as General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC Holdings, our question when developing our mission became "why are there no conglomerates owned by women of color?" The biggest value of success comes from creating what you wish to see in the world...and that is what we did. We wanted to see social media galvanizing a movement of #blackgirlmagic. We wanted to see the execution in the power of purchase. Most importantly, we wanted to see our names on the seats at the table...and we knew that started with making sure we opened the door for women of color business owners to even be in the room of the building that held the table. Website   |   Facebook    |   Twitter   |   Instagram   |   LinkedIn