Throughout the last few months, we’ve seen numerous headlines showcasing various women entrepreneurs who are expected to shine in 2014. Driven by innovation and passion, women are making huge contributions to the world of entrepreneurship, and many are saying this will be their breakout year. Entrepreneurs, both male and female, always inspire me, especially those who take huge strides into creating something revolutionary. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight some of the most powerful female entrepreneurs who are inspiring me this year.
Michelle Rowley, Code Scouts
After noticing a lack of women in Portland’s thriving technology industry, Michelle Rowley decided to take matters into her own hands. With an $18k grant and a team of loyal volunteers, Rowley founded Code Scouts, a nonprofit devoted to teaching women how to code. Through mentorship and software instruction, Code Scouts has blasted open the door for women to break into technology in Portland. In fact, Rowley’s idea has been so successful that it will likely expand into new markets (Austin, San Francisco and New York to name a few) in the near future. We continue to be inspired by Michelle’s drive and can’t wait to see what Code Scouts does next.
Caryn Seidman-Becker, Clear
When Clear, a company that allows subscribers to bypass airport security lines with biometric identification, went bankrupt in 2009, Caryn Seidman-Becker saw an idea worth saving. Inspired by Clear’s mission, Seidman-Becker’s firm bought the struggling company and immediately began rebuilding. With strong brand identity and a will to help weary travelers, the company re-launched in 2010 on a much larger scale. Four years later, Seidman-Becker’s Clear is used in nine different airports and boasts over 250,000 subscribers. Caryn’s vision and persistent attitude serve as a lesson to all entrepreneurs – success can come after failure.
Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox
You might remember our recent Entrepreneurial Spotlight on Debbie Sterling, the founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company created to introduce girls into the field of engineering. Sterling still continues to inspire me because she isn’t afraid to shake things up or let anyone tell her “no.” After spending her life savings on creating her dream company, she is now more than ever determined to have a greater female representation in the engineering industry to help build our world’s future. I also really like that she’s not afraid of a little drama (remember the Beastie Boys fiasco?). Despite the setback, her recent Super Bowl commercial proves that she’s not slowing down any time soon.
If there’s one thing that these women can teach us, it’s that hard work and strong ideas pay off. Despite obstacles, they continue to push forward – something that we all can learn from. I look forward to seeing how they continue to unleash their potential in 2014.
Know an inspiring female entrepreneur? Tell us about her!