So many female entrepreneurs all over the world work hard and persevere to bring their business to success. Most of them would agree that challenges and frustrations were part of their journey. If you are feeling a bit low these days, be inspired by these women:
Roddick, the now-deceased founder of Body Shop, a successful chain of bath and cosmetic items, was known for championing a number of causes outside of business. Her motto was to run businesses ethically, while still making a profit. In an obituary piece, the New York Times described her as having “unconventional idealism and sometimes diva-like temperament.”
Born in Britain to parents from Italy, Roddick wasn’t the most likely candidate to be a successful entrepreneur, female or otherwise. For lack of a better word, she was very liberal and activist-minded for a business owner; her anti-establishment attitude often put her in precarious, or interesting, situations. For example, she joined protestors against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999.
Huffington, now in her 60s, was born in Greece, and moved to England when she was 16. Her last name, Huffington, comes from her former marriage to Michael Huffington, a Republican politician. For a long time, Huffington aligned herself with the right, but she became affiliated with the left around the turn of the millennium.
Huffington is known for having created The Huffington Post. It was acquired by AOL in 2011 for $315 million; AOL made Huffington President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which included The Huffington Post and other sources of media.
Ms. Huffington made have had writing in her genes– her father was a journalist and her sister is a writer– but her success in building one of the preeminent online journalistic entities was anything but expected.
Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List, started her business by knocking door-to-door, looking for customers and ratings of local contractors. At the time, all the effort in doing such didn’t seem to be paying off quite as she had hoped, but there was a panacea: the internet.
The internet would allow the business to spread and expand to new territories, while ultimately reaching more people. Hicks’ story shows that no one should ever give up. Today, Angie’s List makes over $245 million a year in revenue.
Born in 1883 in a hospice for the poor to unmarried parents, the iconic French fashion designer Coco Chanel overcame a number of obstacles. For example, her mother died when she was age 12, leading her to living in an orphanage. At 20, working as a seamstress, she began a business venture selling hats. It all took off from there.
Today, Chanel makes a profit of €1.3 billion a year, and employs 1,270 individuals.
Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, dealt with a lot of rejection starting out. Her family and friends were of no help– she did manage to secure a loan, however, which meant everything. Her husband doubted her the whole way, but she didn’t let that deter her.
Today, Mrs. Fields has stores in nine countries, and grosses over $300 million from over 1000 locations.
Business funding, competition and right timing are important factors for a business to succeed. There are many banking institutions offering affordable business loan rates for additional capital if needed. Without competition, your customers cannot gauge your value and importance. When is the right timing? Now. You just need to start and believe.