I’ve decided to write something else this time. It’s rare to see stories written about successful women entrepreneurs around the world. Not that they need any more recognition than they already have – but I feel the time was already due to write about these ladies in my blog.
I remember the first time I saw SlideShare back in the university days. Years later, I was shocked that LinkedIn bought it for $118.75 million in 2013. Curious, I started researching about the company and its history (a nerd I was).
What caught my attention was not the fact Rashmi Sinha, the founder, is a woman, but the fact she studied PhD in neuropsychology – nothing to do with web technology at all. It just shows the level of aptitude she possesses which impress people in the business world.
She co-founded the company with Jonathan Boutelle in 2006 who became the CTO before being sold to Linkedin which has more than 16 million registered users now.
Another company that grew to become a giant, Cisco. The idea was born out of the problem where the founder Sandra Lerner experienced difficulties to email with her then-husband Len Bosack while working at Stanford University. This problem has led her to design the multi-protocol router – a platform which catapulted Cisco in 1984.
In 1990, it was reported Lerner walked away from the company with $170 million from the sale of her stock options. Her entrepreneurial career did not end there, she continued on to start Urban Decay, a company specialized in cosmetics and a farm based in Virginia.
Flickr was founded in 2002 by duo couple Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield. The popular photo sharing website was an offshoot of a game which Fake was developing with her husband at the time.
Three years later, Yahoo bought the website from the couple for a reported $35 million in cash and stock options. Fake went on to co-found another another website called Hunch – a site that makes recommendations based on users’ preferences. She was even named to the board of directors of the very popular online marketplace Etsy.
4. The Body Shop
Anita Roddick was not a stranger to the entrepreneurial life when she founded The Body Shop in 1976, England. Right after running a hotel and a restaurant, she used the experience to create a livelihood for herself and her two daughters – thus creating the company.
Her business concept became a hit and Anita launched her second branch within six months after launch. Realizing she hit jackpot, she soon launched The Body Shop franchise program which enabled her company to open stores all over the world.
The company’s success led to its first public offering in 1984 and 2006 later on. It didn’t end there. Anita and Co finally sold to L’Oreal for a reported $1.4 billion which today, we see there are more than 2500 stores in 61 countries.
Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields were classmates who studies together at Stanford University. Both ladies agreed to the need of finding a better acne treatment since they have also suffered similar ordeal at some time in their lives. At a certain point in their lives after Stanford, the pair noticed the problems acne posed for people of different ages which led them into developing a new way to treat facial blemishes.
Over a five-year period of researching and testing, they have developed an effective acne skin care system which is know as Proactiv Solution. It was a combination of acne medicine and soothing botanicals to create a much more effective acne fighting system designed to leave the skin smooth, clean and clear.
Cher Wang is the co-founder of the famously known mobile technology company HTC with an estimate worth of $1.6 billion according to Forbes. She was born in 1958 and studied degree in economics from University of California in 1981. A year later, she joined First International Computer company, which led her to co-found VIA in 1987. 10 years later, she went on to co-found HTC in 1997.
Cher has been featured on Forbes world’s billionaire list multiple times from year 2010-12 having a net worth at an estimated 1.6 billion dollars making her one of the most powerful women in 2012.
7. The Huffington Post
No one familiar with digital media world has not heard of The Huffington Post. The founder, Arianna Huffington even plays a huge role in the company after selling it to AOL for $315 million.
Arianna is also an accomplished author having shared her experience in book Thrive: The Third Metric to Success where the book still remains featured on the website.
My Final Two Cent
What do you guys think of the list? I’m sure there are more ‘women-preneurs’ which I missed hustling and working hard around the globe. Let me know any women entrepreneur which you feel very interesting and ‘must-know’. I’d really like to find out more about them.