Women entrepreneurs currently employ over 18 million people in the US and generate $2.3 trillion to the American economy, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. But most of these women entrepreneurs have not achieved everything they have, without struggle- some more than others. And a few managed to rise out of ashes in a way that has inspired a generation of women. These are a few of them.

 

Katherine Graham

The former CEO of the Washington Post was initially the wife of a CEO, when she had to fill in her husband’s position following his death. The first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, revealed in her autobiography, “What I essentially did was to put one foot in front of the other, shut my eyes, and step off the edge.”

 

[Picture Courtesy: Fine Dining Lovers]

 

Mary Kay Ash

While working as a young employee for Stanley Home Products, Kay Ash was rejected for a promotion, which was then given to a man who trained under her. This inspired the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc and she went on to author three best-seller books and won many awards for her work. Having faced prejudice as an employee, she made sure the women working in her company had no such barriers and paid extra attention to helping them achieve a work-life balance.

 

Oprah Winfrey

She was the first African-American woman to become a billionaire. The Chairman of Harpo, Inc. faced abuse as a child while living in rural poverty. But after all the struggles she had faced, she managed to get her own show at the age of nineteen and has not looked back since. Winfrey told Small Business Information that her show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’s mission, “…is to use television to transform people’s lives, to make viewers see themselves differently and to bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment into every home.”

 

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Small Business Information

http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/development/a/womenbiz.htm