American Business Women’s Day is celebrated on 22 September each year to honor and reflect the accomplishments and contributions of millions of women in the workforce and in business across the US. Here is a list of five inspirational female entrepreneurs you should know about.
#1 Sara Blakely, Founder SPANX
Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, an American intimate apparel company with a line of leggings and pants to hold in extra weight, invested her entire savings, $5,000.
Eventually the company grossed $250 million in annual revenues and net profit margins projected at 20 percent.
In 2012, SPANX was one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and Blakely was named Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
She now produces over 200 products in 40 countries and has expanded to include a male line, nicknamed Manx or Mirdles.
#2 Ariana Huffington, Founder The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington is an international media mogul and author who founded The Huffington Post in 2005, which later won a Pulitzer Prize or national reporting in 2012.
Born in Athens, she later lived in England studying economics at University of Cambridge, becoming the president of the renowned debating society, the Cambridge Union, before moving to the US.
The author of 15 books, including Thrive and The Sleep Deprivation, she left the Huffington Post in August this year to focus on her wellness startup Thrive Global.
She is a proponent of conscious, healthy living as noted in her book Thrive:
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”
#3 Sophia Amoruso, Founder Nasty Gal
Sophia Amoruso originally started an online eBay store at 22, selling vintage clothing under the name “Nasty Gal Vintage.”
She soon founded an e-commerce website Nasty Gal, named after the 1975 album by Betty Davis. Focusing on a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, she sells off beat trendy items to a specific clientele.
The brand soon began to compete with large-scale retailers such as H&M and ASOS.
In 2014 she published a book called #GIRLBOSS by Portfolio, specializing on business acumen for women.
In 2015 she stepped down as CEO but remains involved in operations, including two stores in LA.
She has now started a podcast called #Girboss Radio, interviewing Charlize Theron as her first guest. The actress is coincidentally making and producing a Netflix comedy based on Amoruso’s rise to success.
Amoruso is #53 on Forbe’s America’s Richest Self-Made Women and has an estimated worth of $280 million.
#4 Jessica Alba, Founder Honest
Jessica Alba, best known for acting in Dark Angel, Honey and Sin City started a startup in Santa Monica, California in 2011, offering “safe, eco-friendly, beautiful, convenient, and affordable” baby products.
Honest Company was recently valued at $1.7 billion, stunning the tech industry into taking Alba and her team of almost 500 employees seriously.
The company that sells everything from: diapers, food, vitamins, gear and gifts has expanded quickly.
Alba who owes an estimated 15% and 20% of the company, has made $200 million from Honest, putting her at number 42 on Forbes America’s Richest Self-Made Women.
#5 Ivanka Trump Founder Ivanka Inc
Ivanka Trump is an executive vice president of development and acquisitions at Trump Organization and is a co-founder for Trump Hotels.
She is also CEO of her fashion brand Ivanka Inc and is founder of IvankaTrump.com, where she creates business clothes for #WomenWhoWork, celebrating all aspects of women’s lives.
She states on her website:
“I want to inspire and empower women to architect lives that they love, lives that are uniquely their own and not based on the expectations of anyone other than themselves.”
According to G-iii, the apparel giant that manufactures and distributes Ivanka Inc clothes, her collection of mid-priced work-wear made $100 million in revenues in the last fiscal year.
A 2016 annual report stated that there was a $29.4 million increase in sales of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line from last year.