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Leaving Prestigious Jobs for Entrepreneurship – An overview of 6 Successful Female Entrepreneurs

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 29/8/2018 ZUU
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Currently, there are still fewer successful female entrepreneurs than their male counterparts. According to a survey conducted by Tech Crunch on April 19, 2017, out of the 43,000 international companies established via funding from 2009 to 2017, only 6,791 were founded by women (15.8%). While the percentage of companies founded by women that were financed by venture companies increased by 8% from 2009 to 2012, it reached an average of 17% between 2012 and 2017. This simply means that only a small amount of growth has been seen in the past 5 years.

Meanwhile, there are more than a few female entrepreneurs that started their careers at top international companies such as Goldman Sachs, NASA, Facebook, and LVMG (Louis Vuitton, Moet, and Hennessy), who are taking advantage of flexible female ideas and vitality.

From the Top of an International Company to Entrepreneurship

Minted is an online site that was established in 2007 in San Francisco by Mariam Naficy, where independent designers and creators can sell their work. It mainly deals with greeting cards and has raised a total of $89.1 million in the past five funding rounds.

Naficy started her career at Goldman Sachs, as a graduate of the Stanford University School of Management. She established the cosmetics online shop “” in 1998 and during her first year, she made a sale of $10 million. She then sold the company to the incubator Idealab in 2000 for $100 million.

Katerina Schneider was once a partner of the venture capital firm AF Square. She is a fantastic entrepreneur who has invested in companies such as Uber, Lyft, Spotify, and Dropbox. However, after becoming pregnant, she noticed that “the vitamins that are safe for pregnant women were difficult to find,” which led her to establish “Ritual” in 2015.

Ritual sells general supplements for women that are made only from the required amount of safe and natural ingredients. It not only sells supplements but also provides information on “the importance of continuing to take them properly.” It features a stylish package that appeals to women, which makes taking the supplement daily a fun experience and is reasonably priced at $30 a month. The company has raised a total of $15.5 million in the past three funding rounds.

The idea of “natural cosmetic products for men” was developed by Laura Lisowski Cox and Mia Saini, after they saw their husbands borrowing their high-grade creams to care for their skin after outdoor activities.

Oars + Alps, which was launched in Chicago in 2015, offers a set of moisturizing creams and facial cleansers made from selected natural materials in the $40 price range.

Cox and Saini obtained degrees from Harvard and MIT with experience in first-class careers at companies like Goldman Sachs, NASA, Bloomberg, AOL, and Facebook, and raised $1.3 million.

“How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur”: Lessons from a Former Luxury Brand Designer 

In 2016, the jewelry shop “Cat Bird” sold for $10 million. Rony Vardi, a former designer at Louis Vuitton, Moet, Hennessy (LVMH) and their umbrella company Sephora, launched the company in 2004. She currently deals with cosmetics, and home accessories and her luxury inspired simple designs that ignore the latest trends that are very popular. Cat Bird’s management team is female-centered, and it appears that out of its 51 employees, only one is a male.

As an independent jewelry retailer, Vardi talks about the secret to her great success. She says “(business) always has to be taken as a long-term battle” and to “not get lost in fashion trends but to create things that are convincing.” Her advice to people who are thinking of becoming entrepreneurs is as follows: “Do not expect to make a profit at the beginning” and to “save wherever you can, but bet on things that you think will lead to profits in the future.”

For example, if the budget for setting up an office is tight, instead of buying stylish and expensive furniture, invest in expensive software that is useful for the business. As for Vardi, the interior of her first store was made up of cheap furniture from IKEA and other stores that she picked out personally (Girl Boss: July 26, 2016).

Although it seems trivial, not straining yourself from the start and nurturing your business for the long run is the key point to success that is common to all entrepreneurs- regardless of gender.

The Female Indian Entrepreneur Who Supports Start-ups Established by Women

Indian female entrepreneur, Anu Duggal, not only started her own business but also runs a venture capital company, exclusively for funding business started by female entrepreneurs called the Female Founders Fund.

Duggal opened the first wine bar in India on her own and then established the online member store “Exclusively”, which sells Indian inspired fashion items and jewelry. After graduating from Vassar College in New York, she received an MBA from the London Business School.

The Female Founders Fund launched in 2013, earned a total sum of $35 million in its past two funding rounds. As of December 2017, it has invested in a total of 38 start-up businesses established by women such as “Way Up”, a job-hunting site for students, the “Maven Clinic”, an online clinic exclusively for women, the dating site “Dating Ring” and the wedding planning site “”.

On a worldwide scale, it is hard to say whether or not the efforts to promote and increase the social advancement of women are producing the expected results. Although it is progressively is slow, an environment in which women can start up their own company is slowly being developed. If this trend spreads throughout the world and support systems from institutions such as governments and major companies are strengthened, more women will be able to shape their business ideas.


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