In the modern business world, entrepreneurship is a radical act of building a brand or business on your own terms. It is a journey towards productivity and partnership with an audience, customers and community. Through innovative ideas, paired with marketing strategies, entrepreneurs are presently achieving far beyond their product. What does this mean? It means that entrepreneurs are widening the economical and social opportunities of our world. The productivity gains from innovation-driven work is echoed throughout economist reports, debunking the myth that for an economy to grow, ‘the labor market has to expand or capital intensity had to somehow increase.’ In fact, it’s dependent majorly on productivity. The speed that industries and their workers operate determines the financial gain, and overall future, of the business.
Women are doing the work. It’s no longer a miraculous news report when women pioneer throughout these industries, but it comes with an abundance of progress often undervalued, or uncelebrated. When the World Economic Forum states that it will take nearly 95 years to close the worldwide gender gap, we need to push for more balance in business. A review by MassChallenge illustrated, ‘Investments in companies founded or cofounded by women averaged $935,000, which is less than half the average $2.1 million invested in companies founded by male entrepreneurs.’
With significantly less support, encouragement, and perseverance, women-owned businesses generate $1.9 trillion annually, oosting the economy at large. Talal Rafi, in his article ‘Why Women Entrepreneurs Are Critical To Economic Growth’, suggests ‘to me, if more women had equal access to entrepreneurship opportunities and, in turn, were able to start accumulating wealth, the gender wealth gap could begin to reduce further.’
Across every industry, women are surpassing boundaries and shifting attitudes.
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Through the independence of entrepreneurship, the options are limitless. Take the popular example of Whitney Wolfe Herd: entrepreneur and now founder and CEO of Bumble, the online dating platform that became a sensational business success story. Turning down a $450 million buyout offer from Match Group in early 2017, she claimed and honoured her business. Choosing to remain in ownership of the site and at 28 years of age, Herd soon made herself ‘the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire and the youngest female CEO to ever take a company public in the U.S.’ Concentrating her brand around the dating preferences – and needs – of women, Herd’s Bumble began monetizing in 2016, and by the next year crossed $100 million in sales.
Jules from Face of Jules
Raising the expectations of skincare and beauty is Jules from Face of Jules, a holistic facial spa using exclusively natural products and state-of-the-art technology. Started in 2017 in Los Angeles by Jules, the Face of Jules team is dedicated to finding the best methods in the industry. Working with ‘cutting-edge treatments and nuanced nutrition and lifestyle recommendations’, Face of Jules want to make it simple for customers to find what works in treating their skin concerns. The spa was also one of the earliest to adopt the trending dermaplaning technique, a ‘non-invasive exfoliation treatment’ – now one of their most popular services for new, glowing skin. Many of their patients report a newfound appreciation of their face and overall appearance, resulting in life-altering transformations.
Jusnah Gadi, music entrepreneur and founder of Young Music Boss, is building opportunities for those starting out in the breadth of the music industry. Young Music Boss is an expanding networking tool for likeminded, young musicians and creatives. Gadi explains, ‘I feel like as a black woman there are a lot of barriers in place […] I’ve had so many doors almost open and then shut in my face.’ At 26, with a fresh and stable business of her own, Gadi’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is ‘just jump.’ It worked for her: beginning the company in 2016, it thrives today.
Catherine Mahugu, business founder since 2011, runs Soko: an e-commerce platform based in both Kenya and San Francisco. Soko allows local artisans to sell handcrafted jewelry directly to the consumer, widening their audiences and financial opportunities. Mahugu aims to connect and empower entrepreneurs on varying scales, using global design and technology.
Another example is that of Valentina Milanova, who also in 2017 kicked off the creation of Daye. Daye, an online platform that works to provide research and innovative products around menstruation and feminine hygiene, is breaking myths surrounding the female body. Milanova’s brand helps women understand themselves, clarify misconceptions about periods and through various products, relieve menstrual pain. Her business began when she was 25, and is now benefitting the lives of millions of women.