Starting a business requires a lot of determination and mental toughness which are usually seen in men. But for some women, entering and eventually succeeding in the field of business is just a walk in the park. Below are four inspirational women entrepreneurs who have broken the glass ceiling, and proved that entrepreneurship isn't just for men.
Mary Kay Ash
Best known for founding her own cosmetics business, Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc., the late Mary Kay Ash is considered as one of the best women entrepreneurs of the 20th century. What fuelled Mary Kay's desire to start her own business is when she had been passed over for promotion, in favour of a man that she had previously trained. Using her savings of $5,000, Mary Kay started her cosmetics business. Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc. is one of the world's leading cosmetic brands, racking up millions of dollars in sales each year.
Madame C.J. Walker
Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, Madame C.J. Walker is considered by many as one of earliest female entrepreneurs, and the early leader of women entrepreneurship. She recalled her humble beginnings in a business convention in 1912, sharing the fact that she once worked in the cotton fields, but through hard work and determination, she started her own business - and as they say, the rest is history.
Ashley Qualls is one of the most successful and most popular young businesswomen nowadays. At the age of 14, this business-minded young girl started her website Whateverlife.com, a site designed to help MySpace users to choose, and customise templates and layouts for their MySpace Profiles. Qualls' investment came from her mother, from whom she borrowed money for domain registration and web hosting. Soon after, Whateverlife.com started to attract millions of visitors, and generated five-figure advertising revenues per month.
Apart from being a popular talk and variety show host, Oprah Winfrey is also an inspiring businesswoman. Born into a modest family in Mississippi, Oprah had a difficult childhood. However, more than anything, her early life's struggles made her stronger and more persevering. She started her own cable network, and is now expanding on different mediums including websites, radio, print publications and magazines.