Five Female Startup Success Stories

Five Female Startup Success Stories

The business world has long been considered a male-dominated world where women have struggled to find a little bit of spotlight. Historically, a woman who ran a business was considered laughable and unlikely to survive for long. Nowadays, this historical stigma still hangs in the air, but it is relatively untrue for the most part as there are many women who are outstanding leaders in the business world. There are five women in particular who have business startups where success greatly exists.

Sophia Amoruso

Forbes calls Sophia Amoruso “Fashion’s New Phenom” because of the great impact she has had on the business side of fashion. She was the long-time CEO of Nasty Gal, an online retailer focusing on fashion that is unique in many ways. Amoruso is outspoken and defiant in many ways, mostly because she does not know how to back down. She is also a model for teenagers and young adult women facing mental illness as she was diagnosed with depression and ADD in her adolescence.

At the age of 22, she started her first business on eBay, which is the origin of Nasty Gal. This vintage shop’s roots trace back to the title of a Betty Davis album of the same name, and many sources claim this album still holds a great deal if significance for Amoruso. When the business first opened, Amoruso, handled everything on her own, from taking orders to shipping them and from taking all the pictures for posts and monitoring sales. In 2008, Nasty Gal launched as its label and freed itself from the confines of eBay altogether.

Erica Nicole

Erica Nicole has made a name for herself as a fantastic columnist. She is the CEO of YFS Magazine. The title stands for Young, Fabulous, and Self-Employed. YFS has great influence over independent and small-business news on the internet. It provides an in-depth, behind the scenes glimpse at the content in a way that has created a niche for Nicole unlike any other.

She has also received several awards for her efforts, including North America Small Business Influencer Nomination and Media Achievement Award. When it comes to looking for a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, her name is always one of the first mentioned.

Rashmi Sinha

Rashmi Sinha is an Indian-American businesswoman who is best known as the CEO of SlideShare, a presentation program found online. She spent her childhood years in India. Shortly afterward, she went to Brown University for a Ph.D. in cognitive neuropsychology and also studied computer science courses that exposed her to a way of thinking called human-computer interaction (HCI). She later studied HCI at the University of California, Berkley, which is where she started her career.

Initially, she started with a user-experience consultant agency right out of college. Through this agency, she co-founded Uzanto, a company that has provided consultation for eBay, Blue Shield, and AAA. During this time, she also worked with family members to build SlideShare in six months. As of 2006, SlideShare has seen over 9 million presentations uploaded to its servers to help professionals remained connected to one another.

Sandra Lerner

Sandra Lerner is known for her philanthropy as much as she is known for being a savvy businesswoman. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1975 from California State University, Chico, and then she went on to earn a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate School in econometrics in 1977. She would later co-found Cisco Systems, a now multinational technology conglomerate. Lerner’s company is now a leader in networking hardware and telecommunications equipment. At current, it is seen as the largest networking company in the world.

Caterina Fake

Originally the art director of, Caterina Fake founded the now-popular photo-sharing website Flickr in 2002. It was originally an offshoot from a game she and her then husband were designing at the time. Though the game fell through, Flickr did not. In 2005, Yahoo purchased Flickr. However, this avenue was not the only one Fake would take. She would go on to co-found Hunch, a website that makes recommendations to user preferences, and she is now also on the board of directors for Etsy. Most recently, she founded Findery, a new venture that is its beta version as of February 2012.

Some of these women have come from difficult roots. However, what they all have in common is the entrepreneurial spirit along with a work ethic that rarely allows them to back down.

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