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10 Successful Businesses You Didn't Know Were Run by Women

By editorial staff, writer
Sep 22, 2015
Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
> Business Basics

When we think of female CEOs, we think of Marissa Meyer CEO of Yahoo, or Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, mainly because these women garner a lot of media attention. But there are many more women in that have founded or are in charge of companies that you may not be familiar with. 

You may be surprised to learn several Fortune 500 companies are run by women, or that a teenager founded a multi-million dollar jewelry company. Arianna Huffington may be the most famous female running a blogging empire, but there are several female bloggers with incomes well into the hundreds of thousands each year.

According to the National Women’s Business Council, as of 2012 there were 9.9 million women-owned businesses in the United States.  The majority of these businesses (89%) don’t have any employees besides the owner, but these companies are bringing in impressive revenue of $233.2 billion. Of the women-owned businesses with employees, receipts were $1.4 trillion.

Here are 10 Wildly Successful Businesses You Didn’t Know Where Run By Women.

1. General Dynamics

Phebe Novakovic is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of this Fortune 500 company which has business in aerospace, combat systems, information systems and technology, as well as marine systems.

Ursula Burns, Xerox

2. Xerox

Not only is Ursula Burns the Chairman and CEO of Xerox, she is the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company. 

Xerox is more than office copy equipment; they offer document management and workplace optimization services as well as production equipment and software.

3. Regal Entertainment

CEO Amy Miles runs this American movie theatre chain group from the corporate office in Knoxville, TN. With 574 theaters, Regal is the world’s largest theater chain.

4. In-N-Out Burger

At 33 years of age, Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson is the CEO of the popular burger chain founded by her grandparents in 1948. She is currently majority owner of the company, and when she turns 35 she will inherit full ownership. The company is valued at $1.1 billion and Snyder-Ellingson is the second youngest female billionaire in the U.S.

Susan Wojcicki

5. YouTube

CEO Susan Wojcicki runs your favorite video sharing site and she firmly believes in the importance of paid parental leave, stating last week at the Dreamforce conference held in San Francisco, that if she was asked to return to work 10 days after giving birth, she would quit. 

Wojcicki was quoted as saying offering paid parental leave for parents is “good for business,” according to Wired. 

6. Pinch of Yum

Lindsay Ostrom started one of the most successful food blogs, Pinch of Yum, five years ago.  Since then, she has turned her blog into a viable business making approximately $20,000 a month.  Not bad for a former fourth-grade teacher.  

7. Fish Flops

Seventeen-year-old Madison Nicole Robinson designed her first pair of fish flops when she was 8-years-old in 2006.  Six years later, Fish Flops were in 64 Nordstrom stores and the teenager had a burgeoning business. According to Forbes, Fish Flops has already made over $1 million in sales, and is continuing to grow into an all out brand including clothing, accessories and kids books written by Robinson. 

8. Emi Jay

In 2009, Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark started making hair ties using cheap fabric purchased from a Los Angeles fabric store. When one of their hair ties ended up on the head of Jennifer Aniston, the response was overwhelming. Now a full-fledged hair accessories brand, the two girls still run the company, with the help of their mothers, while they attend college full-time.

9. Origami Owl

Another successful teen entrepreneur, Bella Weems found Origami Owl when she was just 15 years old.  While she does not have control of the successful jewelry company just yet, she has a host of family who make up the executive team including her mother, Chrissy.  CEO Robin Crossman is helping grow this direct sales company, worth $250 million in 2014.

10. Muzio

Co-founded by friends Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin and Elizabeth Buchanan, this mobile app allows users to organize photos, videos, audio cilps, notes and quotes into a simple and pretty package.  Based in St. Louis, MO, the company does not disclose financial information but lists Atlantic Records as a partner, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

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