As we wrote about last year, more women are getting turned down for investment opportunities even though women-led venture-backed companies earn 12% more revenue than male-led companies. Only 2.7% of venture-backed companies from 2011 to 2013 had female CEOs. Despite these hurdles, we have countless women on our site being bold to make change happen in their businesses. Here are just a few of their stories:
On being a woman in business:
“When you’re sitting in front of an investor that is likely going to to be a man, you have to convince them that this is a thing that women want. Then they want to ask their wife or their assistant or their daughter what their opinion is, which doesn’t necessarily equate to a fair evaluation of what you’re building as a product.”
Aniyia Williams is the founder of Tinsel and the Dipper Audio Necklace, a fashionable, audio necklace. Check out her full interview in this weeks episode of GoTime.
“I usually find myself to be one of the only females in a room when I’m invited to give a talk or a presentation in the technology industry. I’m ok with it, but I wish there were more female entrepreneurs in tech. I’m sure many other female entrepreneurs have had similar experiences, I hope together we can build a stronger support system for each other.”
Rain Wang is cofounder of Falcon 1, light and fitted 3D printed sunglasses that are custom tailored to the shape of your face.
“I am a female CEO in an IT start-up, people mention that all the time, that is what is most surprising for me. The most important challenge is to keep confident in this context. I have stopped worrying if people will treat me differently in business because of my gender.”
Gisele Belliot founded the company behind Hayo which creates a virtual remote control around your home with the wave of your hand.
“Society’s expectations tend to roadblock our own unique paths and that’s a shame. Empowering women to do what they love should come without judgement. I think we should empower and support women to do what they’re passionate about without question.”
Mira Torres is the cofounder of the JUNO Mirror, a smart makeup mirror with auto-sensing technology.
On building your business
“It was really hard, but with grit and perseverance, and 27 prototypes made by hand in clay and paint at my moms kitchen table, I made it from an idea to a patent pending working hardware prototype and a registered Delaware inc. in 100 days.”
Elin Elkehag, founder of Stilla Motion, wanted to create a trackable device that would blink and alert her when something moved so she didn’t have to constantly watch her purse.
“I’m a 21-year-old acid attack survivor, now turned entrepreneur. For me, a dream to be a designer seemed far-fetched at one time. But instead of hiding my scarred face behind a scarf, I went public and started living my dream: a fashion designer.”
Rupa is the shop owner of SheRoes Hangout, but she is raising funds to expand her clothing line through an online store.
“In October 2014, I came across a petition to help save my borough’s Barnes & Noble from being displaced. I lived at that store, so I signed it, got some friends to sign it, and I then became aware that it was the only bookstore in my borough… then I got pissed enough to do something about it while everyone else was complaining and arguing over it with the property owners for 2 years.”
Noëlle Santos is the founder of the Lit Bar, an indie bookshop/wine bar that speaks to the needs of an unique, thriving, and often stigmatized community in the Bronx.
On staying proud:
“I am proud that I can show my daughter that women can do anything — including start businesses. I want her to feel like she has endless opportunities. I find that people underestimate the perseverance of female entrepreneurs, especially moms. Moms are superheroes, moms are tough. We can pretty much do everything. It is empowering.”
Natalie Rebot is the inventor of Moonlite, a mini-projector that can be attached to any phone with an app of different stories that reflect on the wall.
“The thing I am the most proud of is making the shift to becoming a full time entrepreneur. I think we all have dreams, ideals and aspirations that keep us alive. It’s probably the hardest yet the most fantastic thing to be fully devoted to nurturing, shaping and making sure these come true.”
Nancy de Fays is the creator of LineDock, the most complete portable battery with a universal hub and active cooling.
“We wanted to tell inspiring true women’s stories of adversity to triumph. We featured females who are doing extraordinary work in the world to inspire others to do the same.”
Catherine Gray started 360 Karma to empower women through conferences, video tools and a web series.
“Our goal is to bring people together through our craft and business ethos, and celebrate the creative talent and passion of hard-working fiber folks. Being able to give back to the community while at the same time building our business based on our values and making decisions that we feel proud of is just wonderful.”
Hanna Lisa & Verena Cohrs are the creators behind WOODS — making stories, a book that shares their passion for local, breed-specific European yarns, beautiful knitwear design and helping people expand their knitting knowledge.
“I am so proud of how many people’s lives we have touched. When you have chronic pain, it’s sort of like a black cloud hangs over your life. We get love letters all the time from people who are back playing with their children, getting off of pain killer addictions, restarting their meditation practices and broadly enjoying life again because of BetterBack. There aren’t words!”
Katherine Krug is the inventor of BetterBack, an ergonomic device that helps ease back pain and improve posture.
Are you feeling inspired from these women? Don’t stop there, check out more innovative projects created by female entrepreneurs around the world.