Explore Industry Leaders Magazine’s hand-picked list of “Top 20 Women Entrepreneurs of the Decade” which shines a spotlight on women entrepreneurs. This list of noteworthy women entrepreneurs includes role models and top female leaders from across diverse races, ethnicity, geographies and domains.
Arianna Huffington founded the Pulitzer prize-winning and AOL incorporated Huffington Post in 2005 which continues to grow as one of the most influential media site worldwide. The megacorp columnist is also a radio host, and author 14 critically acclaimed books. So what is the secret behind this powerhouse of energy? More sleep! As of late, Huffington has carved a niche for herself on the spiritual and person well-being route through her bestselling book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.” In 2011, AOL acquired Huffington Post for a staggering $300 million.
One of the earliest founders of Lucy Peng Alibaba, one of the fastest growing e-commerce giant in the world, Peng is a CPO at Alibaba and heads its new Small & Micro Financial Services Group. The financial services group deals with microlending and customer funds, bringing together Alibaba’s financial operations, mainly its Alipay online payment system – Zhong An insurance which also happens to be China’s first online insurer. Peng has also served in a number of Senior Leadership roles for the group uniting a Zhejiang-based microlending JV, Tianhong Asset Management and its Yu’e Bao money market fund which has grown to an astounding $40 billion serving more than 49 million clients making it China’s biggest online financial services provider. Peng graduates from Hangzhou Institute of Commerce of Zhejiang Gongshang University in 1994 with a degree in Business Administration.
Martha Stewart is an influential American entrepreneur, magazine publisher, and lifestyle goddess. Her exemplification of charitable living had individuals accept that she headed an extravagant lifestyle in her youth however the fact speaks truly otherwise. Her magazine ‘Martha Stewart Living’ was first published in 1990. By 2002, the magazine was read by two million readers every issue. In 1993 she additionally began to play host in a half hour program on her magazine that soon turned to a full hour day by day show. Martha additionally started to help often to CBS’s ‘The Early Show’. New York Magazine named her ‘the definitive American woman of our time’ in 1995. Martha launched a company named ‘Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’ of which she was the president, director, and CEO. The firm so raised almost $130 million on its first day at the IPO back in 1999 creating a Wall Street havoc. Stewart holds 96% stake in her company and is worth $1.2 billion.
Cher Wang is a Taiwanese entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Wang cofounded HTC in 1997 and has maintained her position as a pioneer in the world of electronics. Involving herself in a more dynamic role in HTC’s everyday operations; Wang is attempting to turn the organization’s deals and operations once again on a positive route. By bringing a revitalized strategy for smartphones, Wang hopes to position HTC as a global leader in the market. In May 2011, Forbes ranked Wang with husband Wen Chi Chen as the wealthiest people in Taiwan, with a net worth of US$8.8 billion.
Anita Roddick’s entrepreneurial journey remains as one of the greatest tales of the 20th century. From a single shop into building an international empire Anita has proved that any organization can gain a loyal customer base by simply sticking to its ethical core values. Anita Roddick founded The Body shop Ltd., on account of a $6,500 loan obtained to create a line of herbal and all-natural products. In a matter of decades, Anita created a $16 billion empire and is one of the richest women in England.
Kiran Mazmudar Shaw
Shaw is a founder of India’s leading biotechnology company and is the nation’s wealthiest self-made woman with total assets $655 million. In addition to that, Shaw is presently the first female chair of one of the nation’s 12 foremost business schools, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. In 1978, Shaw founded biotech firm, Biocon, with a seed capital of a mere $160 dollars. Biocon only the second Indian company to cross the $1-billion mark on the first day of listing, by reaching a market value of $1.1 billion on its first IPO day. A dynamic philanthropist, she as of late donated $5 million into cancer research in Bangalore.
Rosalie Mera co-founded Inditex (parent company of Zara, and also owns retailers Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Uterque and Zara Home). A high-school drop at a young age of 11, worked as a seamstress to help her then husband create robes and lingerie under the roof of their home. This Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur at the time of her death in 2013 was the richest woman in Spain and the world’s richest self-made woman.
Faulkner is the founder and CEO of Epic Systems that sells electronic health systems and is considered as the most powerful women in healthcare. Epic Systems was founded with an initial capital investment of $6,000, which currently makes annual sales topping $103 million and has over 800 employees. One of the youngest self-made women, Faulkner presently controls Epic Systems $1.7 billion.
Falzone is the co-founder and CEO of Revel System, an award-winning iPad POS system for those in food and retail business. Falzon manages a Senior Leadership role and has also been a key player in procuring more than $13 million revenue as during one of its initial funding rounds. Revel System is currently in more than 1,200 enterprise locations including Goodwill, Belkin, Griffin, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and more. Liza is often cited as one of the most important woman tech leader in Silicon Valley by various publications.
A former journalist-turned-entrepreneur, Wu Yajun held the title of the richest woman and the fifth richest person in China. A Chinese businesswoman, co-founder, former CEO and current chairwoman of Longfor Properties, Yajun holds over $4.3 billion fortune and leads Longfor that has market cap of over $10 billion and more than 10,000 employees.
An American businesswoman and philanthropist, Tory Burch has a net worth of more than $10 billion. Her self-titled line of lifestyle products range from accessories to read-to-wear clothing and is said to have benefited greatly from earlier support by Oprah Winfrey. Her fashion label ‘TRB by Tory Burch’ is spread across 120 locations worldwide including flagships in New York, Los Angeles, London, Rome, Tokyo, and Seoul. Alongside Bank of America, this billionaire fashionista launched Street Capital to encourage woman entrepreneurs by providing low-cost capital funding.
Co-founder of Hatch, an innovative online commercial website that lets users customize any product from their curated group of favored artisans. Leng spent more than five years working at Google in New Business Development and Product Marketing. She headed entrepreneurial efforts in Europe for a while and was responsible for initial-stage partnerships for Google, Voice, Chrome as well as Wallet.
Zhang and her spouse are billionaire-entrepreneurs with a combined fortune of $3.6 billion and co-founders of SOHO China, a leading Beijing real estate development firm. Under her leadership, the company has been named as one of the most admired companies in China by Forbes. Presently, SOHO China has an investment portfolio spreading across 1.7 million square meters in China’s leading metro cities and is set to become the biggest landlord on the Bund in Shanghai.
Lynn Perkins is the CEO and co-founder of urbansitter.com, a website that entitles parent and sitters to connect online through Facebook and other networks. Prior to founding of Urbansitter, Lynn served as founder and CEO of Xuny.com and VP of Business Development at Bridgepath.com. Lynn gained initial business experience at organizations like Gap Inc., Lasalle Partners, and Joie de Vivre Hospitality. Lynn hints that her next venture may probably be in the transportation industry and is a keen supporter of Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial work.
Blakely is the world’s youngest self-made entrepreneur. At 29 Blakely contributed entire life saving, $5,000, attempting create something complimenting to wear under her white slacks. Six months later, her product is named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things. From that point forward Blakely has taken Spanx from single product company sold out of her Atlanta loft to a powerhouse with $250 million in yearly incomes and net overall revenues assessed at 20%.
Yang Lan is a Chinese media proprietor, journalist, and talk show hostess and one of the most powerful women in Chinese media Lan is the co-founder and chairperson of Sun Media which she established with her second spouse, a Hong Kong media tycoon Bruno Wu. Sun Media has surpassed multiple domains including television, newspapers, magazines and the web. Lan has won multiple awards including “Chinese Women of the Year” award, “Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs” award and “Global Leadership Award” to name a few.
Folorunsho Alakija’s journey first began in London where she pursued secretarial studies and fashion design as a young woman. On returning to Nigeria, Alakija founded Supreme Sitiches a tailoring company which quickly rose to distinction amongst Nigeria’s elite class. Alakija also owns 60% stake in Famfa Oil. In 2013, she was appointed the vice chair of Nigeria’s National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts.
Diane von Furstenberg
The Belgian-born entrepreneur began designing clothes in 1970 with $30K in capital. Von Furstenberg has since then reached to the top in the world of designing and is currently serving as the president of the trade association of the country’s top 350 designers. In 1997, she re-launched her fashion company dvF, which has now grown to become a global luxury lifestyle brand with presence in over 70 countries. Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, run by Diane and her husband Barry Diller offers capital for various startups and businesses.
Kelsey Falter is the CEO and founder of Poptip and is considered as one of the most stand-out female entrepreneurs. Falters grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and has sought after the startup life very much since gaining an internship at the Tribune Company, Coca-Cola Company, Office Deport and Saks Fifth. Poptip analyzes social conversation through real-time polls. Since its inception in 2012, Poptip has worked with several big broadcasters and brands, including Budweiser, the NFL and the NBA.
Gwynne Shotwell is the president and COO of SpaceX, rocket science is her business. Shotwell manages a senior leadership role, overseeing almost $5 billion in contracts - that incorporates a $1.6 billion agreement with NASA to convey supplies to the International Space Station. She has been with Spacex since its establishing in 2002, and has been in her current role since 2008. Before that, she put in excess of 10 years at Aerospace Corporation and was Director of Microcosm’s Space Systems Division.