Who Run the World: 6 Fascinating Businesses Headed By Women

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you’re a woman and you’re considering opening up your own business, what’s holding you back from making the jump?

In 2015, Womenable paired with American Express OPEN to look at trends in women’s businesses, including growth and development.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Business report showed the number of firms owned by females in the U.S. continues to grow and is now estimated to be at more than 9.4 million.

This accounts for 30 percent of all the country’s businesses.

The revenue of women-owned businesses is believed to be almost $1.5 trillion, which has increased 79 percent since 1997. Businesses owned by women also provide one in seven jobs for privately-owned organizations.

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

With the significant contributions of women-owned enterprises to the economy, it’s always interesting to take a look at some of the top-performing and most compelling of these organizations. Below you’ll find six of the best performing companies that feature female Founders or female ownership.

Women in the workplace bring a unique perspective to the world of business. Gone are the days where men ruled the boardroom while women were stuck at secretarial academies. Today women are pushing ahead in the Information Technology, Retail, Mobile and Hardware space. The service industry continues to be impacted by the caring, detail-oriented touch of women in the workplace.


Birchbox is a subscription service created by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna. The pair met at Harvard Business School and started Birchbox in 2010, with the concept of sending beauty products to women each month. In 2012 the company expanded to include a subscription box service for men, and in 2014 the company had an estimated annual revenue of $96 million.

2. Hopscotch

Hopscotch presents a unique way to teach coding without typing or syntax. This mobile app lets kids make their own version of games, create art, do fashion designs or really create anything their imagination can come up with. At the same time, Hopscotch lets kids explore the fundamentals of computer science. Hopscotch was founded by Jocelyn Leavitt and Samantha John in 2011.

3. Cisco

Cisco is a multinational tech company with headquarters in San Jose that creates and sells networking equipment. It was co-founded by Sandy Lerner, who previously managed Stanford’s Graduate School of Business computers. The company is now estimated to have had a revenue of more than $49 billion in 2015.

4. Thirty-One Gifts

This is a true success story for women entrepreneurs everywhere. Thirty-One Gifts is a direct retailer of purses and fashion accessories, and while the company is now ranked as one of the top-growing female-owned businesses in the world, it was launched by Cindy Monroe in her basement in 2003. In 2013 the company had a revenue of $760 million.

5. TransPerfect

This translations services company is based in New York City, helping legal and healthcare-based companies with their language translation needs. In 2012,TransPerfect was ranked as the largest privately owned language services provider. It was co-founded by Elizabeth Etling and Phil Shawe, who started the company at New York University in 1992 from their dorms.

Related Article: 40 Inspiring Quotes From Trailblazing Women We Admire

6. The Honest Company

The Honest Company is a household goods company co-founded by A-list actress Jessica Alba in 2011. The aim of The Honest Company is to provide consumers with ethically produced products, and in August 2015 the company was valued at an estimated $1.7 billion. Alba’s personal net worth is valued somewhere around $200 million.

It’s clear that today, women win at business. Hopefully in the near future, the need for lists that highlight the successes of female entrepreneurs and captains of industry will be redundant. From personal experience attending college in the early 2000’s, women are much more strongly represented on college campuses. Technology, business and management degrees have a near parity in representation between the sexes.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most exciting and challenging fields available to those looking to start or restart their careers in the business world. Female contestants on shows like Shark Tank are becoming increasingly common. Popular television sit-coms, like The Office, feature women in the workplace far outperforming men.   

The Future For Female Entrepreneurs

Women continue to make tremendous strides not only in the workplace but also regarding innovation and creating their own enterprises. From fashion to technology, it’s anticipated women-created and owned business will keep growing at a tremendous rate, making it an exciting time to launch your ideas and innovate as women in the business world.

But what does it mean to innovate in the world of business? It means looking at the world around you, identifying a problem and then coming up with a meaningful solution. After a solution is created, then the important step of scaling that solution and marketing it to the people that need your idea begins. How do you see the world around you today, and how would you like that world to change for tomorrow?

Login to Business.com

Login with Your Account
Forgot Password?
New to Business.com? Join for Free

Join Business.com

Sign Up with Your Social Account
Create an Account
Sign In

Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Community Guidelines, and Privacy Policy.

Reset Your Password

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email with a link to reset your password.