10 Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs 

 

Weili Dai (Marvell Technologies)

Weili is the co-founder and former president of Marvell Technology Groups. She is often considered one of the most successful female entrepreneurs with a net worth of 930 million. She was born in Shanghai, China and played semi-professional basketball before pursuing her education in computer science at the University of California Berkeley. In 1995, she co-founded Marvell Technology, a semiconductor company, with her husband, Sehat Sutardja. Marvell is a company which produces technological products ranging from security, networking, and storage. Marvell even supplied the WiFi chip for the first generation Apple iPhone. While at Marvell, Weili was proactive in creating strategic business partnerships. She is taking strides in expanding technology access in developing countries. She is an advocate for getting more women in science and technological fields. She has accumulated many honors including a nod from Forbes in 2012 on their list of the world’s most powerful women.    

 

Melanie Elturk (Haute Hijab)

Melanie Elturk is the founder of Haute Hijab, the leading U.S Hijab brand. She grew up in Detroit and pursued law at Wayne University. For 6 year, Melanie worked as a civil rights attorney in the U.S and Dubai. She was on a path to one day become a judge. She began selling vintage scarves to fund her modest fashion line as a side hustle. She realized that a majority of her revenue was coming from hijabs. In 2010, she launched her brand Haute Hijab, which today has over 160 styles. There was a point where a choice had to be made between careers. Once her business was sustainable for her family, she decided to pursue it full-time. With little competition, her brand took off even more as inclusive fashion trends emerged. Melanie is a style icon in her own right. She is the face of her brand and regularly posts photos on instagram giving women tips on how to style outfits with her hijabs. She values community cultivation by making herself available, answering every DM, and doing in-person events.  

 

Jasmine Crowe (Goodr)

Jasmine Crowe is the CEO and founder of Goodr, a food management app that reduces food waste and combat hunger. Having long considered herself a do-gooder, Jasmine learned how widespread food insecurity was after volunteering at an organization that feeds senior citizens and homeless people in Atlanta. She researched food waste that night and was blown away by how much of a problem it was. With a background in nonprofit management, she launched Goodr in 2017 connecting businesses with charities in delivering leftover food to those who need it. One of the apps biggest features is the data ledger where clients can track their food waste and receive insights on how to save money. Recently, Goodr expanded to Washington D.C, Chicago, and Raleigh. Jasmine hopes that the organizations will one day be used internationally. 

 

Emily Weiss (Glossier)

Emily Weiss is the CEO and founder of Glossier, a collection of skincare and beauty products designed to inspire a minimalist aesthetic. She graduated from New York University with a degree in studio art and worked as a styling assistant at Vogue Magazine. In 2010, she launched her blog, Into the Gloss, while maintaining her full time job. Her blog focused on women’s beauty and grooming routines. Once it hit 10 million page views per month and corporate sponsorships began calling, Emily quit her job to pursue entrepreneurship full time. She raised 2 million in seed funding to launch glossier.com. The original launch included four items but it has since expanded with products included in face masks, serums, shower gel, lotion, lip balm and other beauty items. Glossier has three permanent stores in New York, Los Angeles, and London. However, most sales are online and the brand is known for their various pop-up shops. In 2017, GlossiWEAR, a limited edition fashion line was launched which included hoodies, sweatshirts, hats, and slides. 

 

Anne Wojcicki (23andMe)

Anne is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer genomics company. This is a popular way to uncover family history and genetic makeup, all by spitting in a tube. Wojcicki went to Yale University where she studied biology and did molecular biology research. She continued to focus on research after she left college. With Linda Avery, she founded 23andMe (the name deriving from the number of chromosomes in a normal human cell). They developed a personal genome kit which Time magazine called “invention of the year” in 2008. In 2015, the company began testing health-related risks associated with genetics such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimers. 

 

Jeni Britton Bauer (Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream)

Jeni is the founder and chief creative officer for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which is an Ohio-based artisan ice cream company. Jeni has had an entrepreneurial mind since college. She majored in art history and fine arts. Her friend, who was in the chemistry department of Ohio State University gave her scented vials which lead her to gathering essential oils, creating, and selling her own perfumes. Her first attempt at ice cream was when she decided to mix cayenne pepper and chocolate ice cream to create a spicy chocolate flavor. She opened an ice cream shop called “Scream’s” until closing it. Her love for ice cream was revitalized when she was gifted an Italian Gelato ice cream machine. She opened Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002 which now features a variety of unique flavors including pineapple upside down cake, brambleberry crisp, lemon and blueberry parfait, and cream puff among others. Today, there are 47 storefronts. Jeni’s flavored have been positively reviewed as “groundbreaking.” She also has three published cookbooks on making ice cream at home.  

 

Arum Kang (Coffee Meets Bagels)

Arum is the co-founder of millennial dating app Coffee Meets Bagels. Arum was born in South Korea and educated in the United States. She pursued her MBA at Harvard Business School but never thought she would go down an entrepreneurship path. While studying for her MBA, she got the idea for Coffee Meets Bagels as a means for creating meaningful relationships. She launched the app in 2012 with her twin sister, Dawoon and her older sister, Soo. In 2015, they pitched their idea to the panel of investors on the tv show, Shark Tank and ultimately declined an offer of 30 million dollars for the company. They are still convinced they made the right decision. Today, the app has between 100,000-500,000 users and has made over a billion introductions.   

 

Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code)

Reshma is the founder of tech organization, Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization aiming to increase the number of women in computer science. She majored in Political Science and Speech Communication at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before going on to receive a Masters in Public Policy and a Juris Doctorate. She served as a lawyer doing security fraud and asylum cases. She also had jobs on Wall Street before the 2008 market collapse. She received the idea of creating Girls Who Code during her campaign for United States congress. She noticed that schools within her campaign route did not have many girls in their computer science classes. She aimed to create an organization that fought to decrease the gender gap in the technology industry with the additional goal to teach one million girls to code by 2020. Such skills taught in the organization are programming, web design, and robotics. In 2016, the nonprofit expanded to all 50 states and was recognized as the largest computing program for girls in the U.S.  

 

Mariya Nurislamova (ScentBird)

Mariya is the CEO and co-founder of Scentbird, a service where customers can try designer fragrances on a monthly basis before purchasing. She grew up in Berezniki, Russia next to a prison housing infamous criminals. Since this was the case, she would often come home to find her house burglarized. Her first interaction with perfume came at a young age when she traveled to Paris with her aunt and visited fragrance boutiques. She knew beauty was her passion. At age 18, Mariya left her family and her homeland of Russia to create Scentbird in New York City. Her background lies in mathematics, computer science, and marketing which enabled her to create technology that could make informed scent recommendation for clients based on a quiz. In 2016, she founded another beauty company, Deck of Scarlet. Inspired by modern YouTube beauty gurus, this service partners with influencers to create limited-edition makeup. 

 

Trish Hutchison (Girlology)

Dr. Trish Hutchison is the co-founder of Girlology, an online community designed to give young girls and their parents medically accurate support girls as they grow into young adults. Trish earned her medical doctorate at the University of South Carolina before completing a pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt. She became an expert on adolescent development, teen sexuality and parenting after directing a young women’s health center for the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the South Carolina Medical School. She is listed among the best doctors in America still practices medicine at the Student Health Center in the College of Charleston. Her motivation to go the entrepreneurship route sparked when she practiced medicine. She never had enough time to speak with young patients about important topics such as emotions and emerging sexualities as they only saw her physician for 15-20 minutes each visit. Girlology produces small web videos and has expanded to books and events tackling issues such as reproduction, bra shopping, menstruation, eating disorder, and friendships among others.