Five Top Female Entrepreneurs and Their Stories

inspirational women

Before now, women were hardly recognized when mentioning the top entrepreneurs and business moguls. However, recent times have brought to the fore the successes of many female entrepreneurs.

Many women have built successful enterprises and brands and rub shoulders with their male counterparts. Many are often leading the pack in their respective fields too. These women have risen above gender pressures and shattered barriers to sit at the top of the business chain. Wondering who are the eminent figures redesigning the standard for women in business? Chances are you’ve already heard of some of them, as their business success has also garnered them worldwide fame.

Here are five female entrepreneurs whose success is inspiring.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is arguably the richest and the most influential female figure in the US entertainment industry. With a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars, according to Forbes, Oprah Winfrey is easily a model for successful businesswomen. Unsurprisingly, she had to overcome many challenges and barriers to get her seat at the billionaires’ table. 

She was born in a poor neighborhood in Mississippi to a struggling teenage mother. While in most cases, teenage pregnancy, abuse, and poverty negatively influence future achievements, Oprah Winfrey reshaped her destiny. From hosting morning shows to having her own program, production company, and network, she conquered the media industry. The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011.

Oprah’s success as a talk show host only partially captures her versatility and talent. She is also an author, voice-over artist, motivational speaker, political force, and philanthropist. By the numbers, she is the most successful self-made female entrepreneur.

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (Coco Chanel)

The brain behind the fashion brand Chanel was a woman, and the company was named after her. Coco Chanel had a rough start growing up, especially after losing her mother as a teenager. Her father would later send her to an orphanage home, where she picked up sewing skills.

She dabbled in different careers, including a stint as a singer, where she acquired the nickname Coco, but sewing became her passion and fortunately, she stuck with it. Eventually, she met two wealthy men who introduced her to fashion and business connections. Her career took off from then.

Even after her passing, her brand has remained a trailblazer in the fashion industry. It’s one of the most successful fashion empires and is best known for producing luxurious apparel, bags, and perfumes.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty

It’s almost impossible to make any top ten list regarding female musicians without including Rihanna. This is because the Barbadian singer has achieved all the major awards and dominated the music industry for decades.

She currently has eight albums and nine Grammy awards to her credit and has done ten world tours. She has also made a foray into acting and has starred in seven blockbuster films. She makes this list because she’s been able to combine her career with entrepreneurship. In 2011, Rihanna released her first fragrance, Reb’l Fleur. Other brands she has become a part of include Tidal, Fr8me, and Fenty.

She eventually launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, a cosmetics brand famous for offering 50 different shades of foundation. She later partnered with LVMH, another luxury brand, to launch the Fenty clothing brand in 2019.

Rihanna took some time away from music to focus on Fenty, and the brand has since come out with Savage X Fenty, Fenty Skin, and other subdivisions. With a net worth of $1.7 billion, she’s the richest female musician in the world and the wealthiest person from Barbados.

Sheryl Sandberg

Here is an American business executive who has placed herself in rooms that previously did not allow women. Her rich career portfolio starts as the United States Secretary of the Treasury, where she was the chief of staff. Sheryl Sandberg was also an executive at Google, holding the position of vice president of online sales and operations. 

In 2008, she was appointed the chief operating officer at Facebook and became a member of its board four years later. This made Sheryl the highest-ranking female in the company and the first woman to join Facebook’s board of directors. Her net worth is $1.5 billion.

Sara Blakely

This American billionaire is known for founding Spanx, an undergarment company that deals in pants and leggings. The story of Sara Blakely is not straightforward because she didn’t find a career match right away. Instead, she tried out different jobs over the course of her youth.

Her first career choice was to become an attorney, but she abandoned that dream after being unable to pass the Law School Admission Test. She later worked at Disney World for three months, during which time she was also into stand-up comedy. From there, she got a job at Danka, selling fax machines. She was so successful in this male-dominated career path that she was promoted to the position of a national sales trainer.

While working in Florida, she devised a new hosiery idea and went to North Carolina to sell it. Most of the companies she pitched her idea to turned her down, but one decided to invest in her and her idea. Because of this deal, she made a prototype and trademarked the name Spanx. She has been named in Time magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is worth $1.1bn.


Some of these successful women may have achieved this level of success without a solid educational background. However, it is always helpful to have a solid grounding in your business and entrepreneurship; receiving an education is the best way to do this. Set yourself on the right path by getting an advanced degree. You can even get a master’s in business management online like the one offered at Aston University. This will help you acquire the industry-based skills and business acumen needed for success.

These eminent female personalities have made giant strides by overcoming the limits and breaking the stereotypes associated with women in business. They’ve become a source of inspiration for young girls and anyone with a desire to achieve greatness.

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