5 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing The Way We Do Business

  •    Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans.

With each passing year, there is a steady rise in the number of female entrepreneurs starting their own ventures. Female-owned businesses now make up 37% of all global enterprises and 40% of the new entrepreneurs in the United States are women—the highest percentage since 1996!

The growth of women-owned businesses has been especially swift and steady in the last few years. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey found that in 2016, female entrepreneurship rose by 13% in contrast to a 5% rate of growth for male-owned businesses. While a gender gap still exists, it appears to be rapidly on its way to a close.

Not only are women flocking to the world of entrepreneurship—they’re crushing it! The 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report found that female entrepreneurs are exhibiting more ambition in their businesses, and it’s paying off with a higher return rate of success. Data showed that companies fronted by female entrepreneurs reported 13% higher revenues than those run by men.

We’ve profiled 5 amazing women entrepreneurs to showcase how they’re changing the face of their industries—and the business world at large—with their dynamic energy and innovative ideas.

1. Julia Taylor Cheek, Founder of EverlyWell

Commercial DNA testing for ancestry has been around for a while, but Julia Taylor Cheek set out to do something revolutionary in the testing space. She is using her company EverlyWell to shake up the marketplace by offering home lab tests for health concerns as varied as food sensitivities, thyroid levels, STDs, cholesterol, and more. The kits are easily ordered online and samples are reviewed by board-certified physicians. Results are then provided in easy-to-read layman’s terms and are securely accessible on a multitude of devices.

2. Brit Morin, Founder of Brit + Co

After stints at tech giants Google and Apple, Brit Morin struck out on her own in 2011 to launch Brit + Co, which has since grown into one of the most influential digital media companies for women worldwide. Originally focused on a DIY lifestyle, Brit + Co strives to both educate and inspire women to thrive in creative spaces, while also providing them with entertainment and vital news information. It’s a top-to-bottom women’s lifestyle channel and is viewed by over 125 million people monthly.

3. Ida Tin, Co-Founder of Clue

Based in Berlin, Clue is the female health company—co-founded and run by Ida Tin—behind a lauded period-tracking app of the same name. Clue is gaining ground as one of the most user-friendly and dependable apps in that industry. It has even been named the number one app of its kind by the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology. In addition to allowing women to track their own cycles, it allows them to share that information with partners, striving to make the discussion of family planning less taboo while bringing it into the digital age.

4. Anna Auerbach & Annie Dean, Co-Founders of Werk

Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean, both highly-educated women in the consulting and law fields, were stunned when they gave birth to their children to realize how America’s rigid, outdated system of workplace inflexibility is putting scores of talented women out of work by forcing them to choose career over family. They also saw how companies, and in turn, the economy, are suffering for it. To that end, they created Werk, an innovative job search platform that pairs qualified, experienced women with companies that are willing to think outside of the box in terms of workday structure.

5. Emily Weiss, Founder of Glossier

Emily Weiss spent years behind the scenes of the fashion industry. In her time talking with stylists and models, she came to realize that the beauty industry was doing women a huge disservice. The undercurrent of their products and messaging was a constant reminder of “you’re not good enough,” wrapped in an age-rewinding, overpriced package. So she set out to change the conversation with her blog Into the Gloss. Within a few years, she noticed a huge gap in the market for products that were simple, affordable, and effective—and Glossier was born. The brand immediately took off, and they’ve amassed quite the cult following, with no signs of slowing.

The list above is but a small sampling of the scores of talented businesswomen making major moves across a wide array of industries. We’re so encouraged to see these vibrant women flexing their entrepreneurial skills and gaining success at every turn! What’s your favorite woman-run business? Tell us all about it in the comments.