When it comes to entrepreneurial skills, male entrepreneurs get all the limelight and media attention. As a result, women entrepreneurs who have achieved so much success, far more than their male counterparts, do not receive the recognition that they deserve. It is a pity because BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report 2016 shows that women entrepreneurs have been a lot better and more successful than their male counterparts are. To pay honor to such women and highlight their contribution towards making the world a better place, we are putting together a list of top-10 women entrepreneurs to watch out for in 2017.
1. Arianna Huffington
One of the most influential women entrepreneurs in the world, Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and the former editor in chief of The Huffington Post. Arianna Huffington has appeared in Forbes and Guardian list of world’s most powerful women on multiple occasions. After transforming the online publications platform, Arianna Huffington stepped down from her post at The Huffington Post recently and diverted her energies towards her new startup called Thrive Global. Thrive Global is about to take the health informatics industry by storm. In 2017, we might see great things emerging from her nascent startup’s loins.
2. Cher Wang
Cher Wang, co-founder and former chairperson of HTC Corporation, is a Taiwanese entrepreneur and philanthropist. She propelled HTC to become one of most popular smartphone brands. At one point, HTC was manufacturing every one out of six smartphones sold in the US and Cher Wang played an important role in that. She was also associated with VIA Technologies, global leaders in the development of highly integrated embedded platforms. She was included in Forbes’ most powerful women and billionaire list for 3 consecutive years from 2010-2012. It seems 2017 will be major year for Cher Wang as HTC tries to make a solid comeback with HTC U Ultra and reclaim its past glory once again.
3. Shama Hyder
Whether it’s the Entrepreneur naming her the Zen Master of Marketing or her being dubbed the Millennial Master of the Universe by Fast Company, this shows that Shama Hyder deserves all the praises. Founder of the award-winning Marketing Zen Group, this female CEO and entrepreneur have helped her company to grow by 400% every year since 2009. Her company has helped many businesses to make it to the Fortune 500 list and her clientele includes many big names. We can hope to see this trend continue in 2017 as well.
4. Lisa Wang and Yin Lin
Lisa Wang and Yin Lin identified the problem I highlighted in the beginning of the article and turned it into a business opportunity. Irrespective of how good female entrepreneur’s ideas are, they rarely get appreciated and highlighted. SheWorx, the Lisa Wang’s and Yin Lin’s brainchild resolves this issue by providing women with a platform where they can truly express themselves. They arrange special events where women entrepreneurs can learn, share their experiences. More importantly, it provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and build alliances with other accomplished female entrepreneurs, investors and makes it very easy for them to reach out to top mentors for guidance.
5. Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely faced a problem: What to wear underneath her white pants that would give a smooth feel and great look. In the midst of solving this problem, Spanx was born. It is an apparel company that is in the business of selling undergarments. What forced her to get into hosiery business dominated by men is the idea that they were producing products that they do not use themselves. To solve this issue, she started Spanx. Forbes listed her among 100 most powerful women in the world.
The real breakthrough came when the famous TV show host, Oprah Winfrey termed Spanx product as her “favorites” in 2000. The sales grew substantially and she never looked back from there. In October 2013, she revealed her ambitions to develop world’s most comfortable high heel shoe before retiring. Who knows, we might get to see that dream become a reality in 2017.
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6. Folorunsho Alakija
Despite being one of the richest women in Africa, Folorunsho Alakija rarely gets the attention she deserves. With a net worth of more than $1.63 billion, she aspires to bring a positive change in Nigeria. She started the business in her home country. She had done two jobs before starting her own fashion label: Supreme Stitches. Within a span of few years, her Supreme Stitches helped her to amass a fortune. Folorunsho Alakijais now the vice chairperson of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company. Folorunsho Alakijahas invested her money in creating millions of job opportunities for underprivileged Nigerians.
7. Amber Venz
Co-founder and president of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it, Amber Venz knows the art of identifying new business opportunities. She grabs them with both hands. After realizing that influencers use Instagram to promote brands to a wider audience, Amber Venz connected different brands with their target consumers. LIKEtoKNOW.it is an online shopping platform that does exactly that. It connects consumers with their favorite brands so that both parties can benefit from it. On the other hand, rewardStyle is a content monetization platform that focuses on style.
8. Natalya Brikner
Talk about ambitious entrepreneurs and the first few names that pop up in your mind are Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Finally, these gentlemen have a worthy contender in the form of Natalya Brikner. This young woman entrepreneur is working on developing affordable propulsion technologies to make space travel accessible to the masses. CEO and Co-founder of Accion Systems Inc took advantage of her rocket science knowledge from MIT. She used her experience to transform space travel altogether. If she succeeds in developing an affordable space travel solution in 2017, it will speed up the space travel revolution.
9. Natasia Malaihollo
Another serial female entrepreneur who rarely gets the media attention she deserves is Natasia Malaihollo. Her newest company called Wyzerr has excited many small businesses. Taking feedback and filling out long, boring surveys are painstaking jobs for both customers and businesses. She took the initiative and simplified the process. Natasia Malaihollo launched an intuitive and interactive app that makes taking feedback a breeze. She has many other businesses as well and might add one more to her portfolio in 2017.
10. Amanda Signorelli
If you have no clue what Techweek is all about then you will surely get know about it before 2017 ends. Amanda Signorelli, with Techweek, is nurturing technology entrepreneurship as a means of spreading wealth creation in local communities operating outside the Silicon Valley in North America. With the exponential rise of tech-based startups, we might see Techweek grow into something bigger and even expand to other parts of the world in 2017 and beyond.
Women entrepreneurs are not far behind their male counterparts when it comes to innovation and taking initiatives. The only problem is that their achievements are not highlighted as much as their male counterparts. Expect some more ideas, innovations, and startups featuring women entrepreneurs in future. Do you have any other female entrepreneur in mind that deserve to be on our list? Share it with us in the comments section below.