4 Inspiring Stories Of Female Entrepreneurs And Leaders

Did you know that women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs? The number of women-owned ventures has increased by 45 percent over the last decade, compared to 9 percent among all businesses.

In addition, women-owned businesses now comprise approximately 38 percent of the business population, employ 8 percent of the country’s private sector workforce and contribute 4 percent of the nation’s business revenues.

While this growth has been remarkable, female entrepreneurs still face significant roadblocks including limited access to capital, difficulties maintaining a strong work/family balance, lack of access to seasoned support and connections and gender discrimination and stereotyping.

Overcoming these odds is difficult, but female entrepreneurs repeatedly prove resilient. Below, we’ve compiled four encouraging anecdotes of resiliency, success and a call for change from inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders.

When Failure Is Not An Option
After a big life change put her in a desperate position, fashion entrepreneur Eva Mann used the skills she had to build a successful uniform design company. But her journey was far from easy. JumpStart Inc. president, Cathy Belk took to #FacesofFounders to share Eva’s story.

Key Quote: “There are different paths for different people. In my case, the lack of any other choice gave me clarity and made me resilient. And as an entrepreneur you have to be resilient — because believe me, you are going to be tested.”

Entrepreneur Insight: Kate Volzer, Wisr
Overview: As part of our Entrepreneur Insight series, Kate Volzer, CEO and co-founder of JumpStart portfolio company Wisr, introduces her business, discusses the keys to their early success and explains the vital importance of detailed customer discovery and client feedback.

Key Quote: “Of 250 EdTech companies invited to present at the 2017 ASU+GSV Summit, Wisr was selected as one of three startups to be honored with a Venture Innovation Award—a remarkable honor given the company’s young age.”

When It Comes To Investors, Gender Does Matter
Overview: In this piece, originally published by Huffington Post, JumpStart President Cathy Belk discusses the role that gender plays in the venture capital space and provides her take on how existing barriers can be broken down, thus moving the industry closer to a more equalized investor field.

Key Quote: “Just like the STEM industries, it’s time for women to lean into investing to help support the women who are bringing new technologies and ideas to market. If we want to see more women succeeding as entrepreneurs, women need to be at both sides of the table.”

Five Questions With GrooveRyde’s Founder Anjua Maximo
Overview: Core City: Cleveland Impact Program graduate Anjua Maximo discusses how GrooveRyde came to be, the challenges she faces while juggling motherhood with entrepreneurship and what the future holds for her company.

Key Quote: “The challenges I have faced as a female entrepreneur haven’t been with the business itself. They have come with being a mom. Just finding the balance, which changes day-to-day, and recognizing that the balance was going to change was an adjustment I had to make.”

Inspired by these women? We hope so! If you’re ready to take the next step in starting or scaling your own business, we encourage you to apply for our business assistance and funding opportunities. Visit the application page to apply today.