20 Female Entrepreneurs Who Impacted the World


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The first page of the article on Folorunsho Alajika, a Nigerian entrepreneur.


Project Overview

My first project with Impact Catalyst (my internship) was to write 20 articles on entrepreneurs/entrepreneurship and how it has impacted the world (a play on the company’s name, ‘Impact’ Catalyst). The articles would be given to Women Roar Int’l, where they would be turned into an ad campaign. The only other requirements I had for the articles was that they needed to be between 300 to 800 words. Other than that, I could write on anyone or anything I felt fit the criteria. Once I finished, I would turn the articles over to my employer for revision and editing.

Project Plan and Responsibilities

The first part of writing the articles involved looking up entrepreneurs or ideas on places such as Forbes, Inc, and other business sites. I initially wanted to go with qualities that good entrepreneurs had, but after talking with my employer about it, I realized it didn’t fit their focus. So I discarded the idea and went back to searching for a new idea to write 20 articles on. I thought I could write about the most influential entrepreneurs in the world, but the more I searched, the more I was interested in writing about female entrepreneurs, rather than any entrepreneur. One of the things I noticed while researching them is that some of them weren’t as well-known as their male counterparts, especially foreign female entrepreneurs. So, I decided to change my focus completely to female entrepreneurs and make sure that I focused on entrepreneurs around the world, not just in America. I originally had women like Melinda Gates, Laurene Powell, and Beyonce, but I realized they didn’t fit the criteria I set up and had to drop them.

From there, it was a matter of finding credible sources (professional websites, within the last three or so years, etc.) and gathering enough information to build a profile on why these women were influential. I sent in my first five articles for review and realized from my employer that I had too much of a focus on their biographies and not a focus on why they were influential. I started to search again for more information on their current exploits and what impact they had on business. Some had personal websites, while others had videos I could watch about their business impact. For some, like foreign entrepreneurs in third-world countries where women in business are scarce, their impact was a little more obvious.

Project Results

The articles that I handed over to my employer are still being processed, edited and turned into campaigns for the client. Once the links are published, I will update this article with project results.

I’ve researched a variety of subjects for most of my classes in college, but I’ve rarely researched for anything outside of an assignment for school. This was one of my first experiences researching and writing for an ad campaign that would be used by a business, and I wanted to do it right. It took several revisions of the ideas and each article to get it right, and it required a lot of personal responsibility to finish these articles on time since my employer left it up to me to check in with her. It was especially difficult to get some articles right because there was so much or so little information, but I worked with what I had so that each article was similar enough to each other to convey an idea of ‘business impact’.

Below are the links to PDF files and published articles of 20 influential female entrepreneurs from around the world:

  1. Folorunsho Alajika– FAMFA Oil and Rose of Sharon House
  2. Tory Burch– Tory Burch (fashion line)
  3. Judy Falkner– Epic Systems
  4. Weili Dai– Marvell Technologies
  5. Arianna Huffington– Huffington Post and Thrive Global 
  6. Yang Lan– China Sun Media, Yang Lan One on One, and Her Village
  7. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw– Biocon India
  8. Rosalia Mera– Zara
  9. Gina Rinehart– Hancock Prospecting 
  10. Oprah Winfrey– The Oprah Winfrey Show, HARPO, O Magazine, and Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation
  11. Lucy Peng– Alibaba and Alipay
  12. Zhang Xin– SOHO China 
  13. J.K. RowlingHarry Potter series, Pottermore and Harry Potter World (Universal Studios)
  14. Diane von Furstenberg– Wrap dress and DvF
  15. Cher Wang– VIA Technologies and HTC Corporations
  16. Wu Yajun– Longfor Properties
  17. Sara Blakely– Spanx
  18. Shelia Lirio– Care.com
  19. Madam CJ Walker– CJ Walker Beauty Care
  20. Denise Coates– Bet365



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