Can women do business? Human cultural and social evolution across the globe has always shown women as domestic creatures who don’t have the courage or intellect to be independent or establish her own business.
Even five decades back, there were less number of successful women entrepreneurs on the business scene but this fact has drastically changed with the Internet boom.
The Internet opened up a myriad of possibilities to earn online. There is no pressure to work from the office or sacrifice quality family time anymore…
Earlier entrepreneurial women found success hard to come by because of several financial and economic constraints- but now, the Internet makes everything possible.
For women who are looking for a source of inspiration and motivation for your first home based business venture, read our unbiased selection of five inspirational stories of women entrepreneurs who have broken all income barriers and created successful businesses online.
Some of the Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur – Hannah Altman
Business – Selling Pencil Toppers
Years Active – 2009 onwards
Location – Michigan
Only 10 years old (yes, you read correctly!), Hannah Altman is the founder and CEO of Hannah’s Cool World where she and her parents sell cool toys all over the world. In business since 2009, her site has sold more than 250,000 pencil toppers.
She comes from a family of entrepreneurs – her Mother Lauren Altman started Cool Zips when Hannah was only six years old. In fact, the idea to start Cool Zips was Hannah’s – a really creative and practical thinker at such a young age, one must say!
Her Dad, Rick Altman, left his full time job in 2010 when the Cool Zips business really took off. Once the family was out dining when Hannah spotted pencil toppers in a nearby vending machine and Hannah forced her Dad to buy them.
Hannah, when reaching home, asked her Dad whether such pencil toppers could be sold online and requested him to create a website.
Rick registered the domain name to set up a website and used Google’s ‘pay per click’ program to drive traffic. Within a few days, orders started pouring in.
Both her parents are simply awed by their daughter’s creative mind. Unlike other 10 year olds, a typical day for Hannah goes in attending school and then investing an hour a day online searching for cool products to sell.
While her parents take care of the logistics and business strategies, Hannah is the ‘creative head’ of her online business. She has the knack to select successful products and to this day, her choice has never been wrong.
She is a very young entrepreneur with lots of potential and she is definitely learning the ropes well at this age. She is an inspiration for those who are struggling to make money online. As we always say, if you have the creativity, try your business luck online.
Entrepreneur – Anne Wenzel
Business – Econosystems
Years Active – 1999 onwards
Location – not available
17 years of experience in researching and writing business reports – childhood passion for writing – excellence in economics during college and a desire to keep businesses updated on current market trends led to the creation of Econosystems.
According to Wenzel, time paucity does not allow small business owners to keep themselves updated on current market and business trends. Failure to do so means losing out to competition and loss of valuable time.
At Econosystems, Wenzel helps entrepreneurs by researching and writing business reports in much less time than what the business owners would have taken to accomplish it otherwise. To help other independent professionals enhance their revenues, she works as their virtual assistant or as a sub-contractor for their research projects.
Her online business is about 12 years old and she admits making several mistakes while starting out. Marketing was a new domain for her and it took her time to promote her services and start getting clients.
If the testimonials on her site tell anything, it’s her commitment and passion towards her work which shines through. To keep her business unique, original and reputable, she signs contracts with each of her clients to maintain transparency in her dealings. If the client is unsatisfied, a full refund is awarded.
Her work USP is different from other similar report writing websites. Here, she creates relevant reports pertaining to the chosen industry and does not siphon off sold reports to other clients.
Intelligent Internet marketing and her persistent efforts have made her a successful entrepreneur. A firm follower of Gandhi’s teachings, she quotes: “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning”.
Entrepreneur – Susan McFee
Business – Founder of LeadTeam & Independent Gold Director with USANA
Years Active – not available
Location – not available
Years of working in various industries like hospitality, retail and sales left Susan frustrated. She was always a ‘go-getter’ and nothing could make her happier than a satisfied consumer. She was a natural leader who loved to take the initiative and ensure consumer’s happiness. She spent years creating valuable customers for the companies she worked for but not everybody could appreciate her efforts.
More than appreciation and praise, she received criticism from her employers for giving consumers too much. This left her frustrated and unhappy. Her terrible career situation forced her to think about starting a business on her own. She was a leader but she felt incapable to run a business smoothly.
Moreover, there was this lingering fear of letting go of a monthly paycheck. For a short time, she tried juggling her regular job with her home based business but it proved too harmful to her health.
Finally, she took the plunge and created LeadTeam – a platform for team building. We know that through the Internet, we can connect with anyone – anywhere – anytime – she applied this principle with her company.
LeadTeam looks to hire the best minds and collaborate together on a team to provide valuable service to the consumers. Her motto is consumer satisfaction. She believes that when consumers are satisfied, they are only too eager to promote the services. LeadTeam seeks to build a team of efficient leaders globally and create a loyal clientele.
Entrepreneur – Angela Wu
Business – Online Business Basics
Years Active – 1999 onwards
Location – Not available
An engineer by profession, Angela didn’t have any difficulty dealing with the technical aspects of setting up an online website. What seriously bothered her was ‘marketing.’ She was not a marketing person; therefore, when she decided to quit her engineering job and start an affiliate business, she had to learn marketing first.
Her business idea was to sell eBusiness tutorials and documents to help others make money online. Since she was an avid writer too, there was no problem with creating online tutorials.
The 1990’s did not have the technological advancements that we have today and the desire to make money online was not as astronomical. Compared to today, perhaps 1 out of 5 people would of ever thought of earning online and thus, Angela was taking a big risk. After all, what’s a business without risk?
We have mentioned a few times that earning money online is three-dimensional: you need a creative business concept, you need good content and you need great marketing skills. Angela has a great business concept and no shortage of content; she diverted her attention on marketing.
She visited countless marketing forums, contacted Internet marketing professionals and established an online working relationship with them to learn the basics of marketing. She admits that some concepts worked and some bombed but she learned from her mistakes. Once her website marketing strategies took off, there was no looking back.
With her affiliate business in place, there was no long term difficulty in recruiting affiliates and making sales. Moreover, she trained new affiliates and oriented them into the affiliate program. Her advice – don’t be too eager to create multiple streams of income. Work on individual projects at a time and move on to the next!
Entrepreneur – Deb Steinberg
Business – Nickers & Neighs
Years Active – 1998 onwards
Location – Gainesville, Texas
This is the most unique and interesting online home based business idea I have heard of in a long time!
Nickers & Neigh is the web’s largest equine gift shop retail store, built from the perseverance and dedication of Deb Steinberg, a self confessed horse lover who found it surprising that there are no worthwhile equine gifts available in stores when she was looking to buy an equine gift for a friend in 1997.
Before she started her business, she was a successful Call Center Manager and in 1995 moved to the country along with her husband. Anyways, that day in 1997 led to the germination of a unique gift idea and in retrospect, an enormously successful online business venture.
After days of barnstorming sessions with her husband, she drew out a detailed business plan and submitted a $30,000 SBA loan request. In April 1998, Nickers & Neigh launched its first eCommerce website with 104 equine gift products. But they reached a roadblock soon enough – they didn’t know anything about marketing.
Deb realized it is one thing to establish a website and another thing to make it popular. She didn’t have any marketing or sales experience. The company didn’t make any substantial profit in the first two years even though orders started to come regularly.
Whatever was earned went to paying bills and expenses. As they learned to market, their inventory increased and soon had over 300 gift items to sell. They also promoted their business through horse shows, which added to the company revenue.
The company earned its first profit in the year 2000. Soon they sold their old house and bought a new place which had a warehouse also. Essentially, their business is still home based but in a few months time, they opened their first retail store and then the rest is history…
Nickers & Neigh’s successfully maintains its online business position as the preferred equine gift shop worldwide.
Who says women don’t do business!
Tell us your success story. We will be happy to publish your story here.