Role Models For Women – The Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of the Last Decade

Women start twice as many businesses as men, yet they run less than two percent of companies with revenue exceeding $1 million. So what separates those elite few from the pack? Here is a compilation of the top ten women entrepreneurs of the last decade to lend some insight.

1. Sarah Blakely, Spanx

It has been said necessity is the mother of invention. That is certainly true for Sarah Blakely, who created Spanx out of a need for better undergarments. She went on to become the youngest self-made woman on the Forbes’ Billionaires list at 42 years old.

2. Jessica Alba, The Honest Company

Best known for her onscreen performances, Jessica Alba co-founded The Honest Company in early 2012. As a new mom she was frustrated trying to find safe products for her family and home that were also effective. She teamed up with Christopher Gavigan to create a home delivery service that would provide both.

3. Jill Becker, Cambridge Nanotech, Inc.

This Harvard graduate developed a research solution using atomic layer deposition and launched the first product from her basement. In 2010 Ernst and Young named Becker Entrepreneur of the Year, and the company’s revenue exceeded $18 million in 2011.

4. Christiane Lemieux, DwellStudio

Working as the design director for a home company, Lemieux had the opportunity to test drive a few of her own designs. Soon DwellStudio was born, providing trendy, fashion-inspired products and textiles for the home. The company opened its first retail location in New York City in 2010, and later Lemieux published her first book, Undecorate. Specialist talks

5. Laura Mather, Silver Tail Systems

Founded in 2008, Silver Tail Systems provides cyber security to clients like StubHub and ING Direct. Today the company protects more than 770 million internet users.

6. Victoria Ransom, Wildfire Interactive

Although her first business was an adventure travel company, Ransom discovered a need for social media marketing software and launched Wildfire Interactive. The company grew to 400 employees in four years and recently sold to Google for a reported $350 million.

7. Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare

After finishing her PhD in psychology, Sinha made the switch to software development. SlideShare is a platform that allows users to share presentations on the web. The company has been hugely successful and recently sold to LinkedIn for $119 million.

8. Shunee Yee, CSOFT International

After nine years as an executive, Yee founded CSOFT International, a global communications firm. The company now has 14 locations worldwide. Launched in 2003, the company has grown steadily, increasing profits by 20 percent every year.

9. Julia Hartz, Eventbrite

Chances are you have interacted with Eventbrite at some point. The ecommerce business helps event planners sell tickets to events. To date the site has reaped $1 billion in ticket sales. Eventbrite was named one of the best places to work in the Bay area.

10. Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins, Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer

This is a three-for-one deal. Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins and Elisa Camahort Page created BlogHer in 2005 after wondering where were all the women bloggers. The company mission is “to create opportunities for women who blog to gain exposure, education, community and economic empowerment.” Today the site hosts 40 million unique visitors each month and has 3,000 blog partners. BlogHer also hosts the world’s largest conference for women in social media.


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