Women handle a range of challenges in their personal and professional lives. Often, this can lead to a rewarding career as an entrepreneur and as the numbers show, it’s something that is not stopping anytime soon. In the past 20 years, the number of women-owned firms in the US has increased 114%.
Following are four impressive women that have created businesses that are focused on smart problem solving. Some of these women have just started their entrepreneurial journey while others have grown their company over several decades. As female founders, they are championing women with their solutions and are addressing problems that they have faced themselves. Through their various phases of growth, they have found unique, gratifying, and profitable solutions. The best part is that what they do also helps other women.
Dora Lau, Founder and President, Dora L. International
Lau grew up in Hong Kong in a family with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Her parents owned a popular record company that produced top local Cantopop artists. Many had best-selling albums and Lau was responsible for styling them. Early on she realized the importance of fit when it came to gowns and the foundations that offered shape and support. Intimate apparel became Lau’s passion as she understood that the right bras and shapewear could impact how clothing fit and even a person’s confidence.
After a move to the USA to attend university and working at several firms, Lau founded Dora L. International, a global intimate apparel supplier. Her company has helped major brands develop bras that solve a solution for women who crave a better fit, enhanced shape, greater comfort, and a beautiful product that makes them feel great. Lau says that her secret to success is that she has become known as the company that can design, develop, produce, manufacture, and ship what a company wants even when everyone else says that it cannot be done.
Amelia O’Relly, Founder, How to Breast Cancer
Climbing the corporate ladder over a distinguished career as a Human Resources executive at Fortune 500 companies including Coca Cola and Home Depot for more than 20 years, O’Really is using her finely-honed skills to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients. Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2019, she continued to work while she received treatment for more than 18 months.
In 2020 she left corporate life and decided to be a champion of the patient experience. Understanding that there was a lot of information about early detection, but not enough about navigating the experience itself, she launched How to Breast Cancer. The website, www.thebreastcancerguide.com, is designed to be a central resource with approachable and easy to digest information. The platform is a one stop resource with easy-to-use tools and practices for successfully navigating a breast cancer journey. Almost immediately, O’Relly knew that she made the right decision and was headed towards a highly rewarding second career. Emails quickly poured in with comments from people she didn’t know who shared their appreciation and detailed how these new tools dramatically changed their patient journey and outcome.
Monique Banks and Ariel Banks Baker, Co-Founders, BLUEPRINT
When you have a love of family and celebrations, starting a business that focuses on these important parts of your life can seem like a natural next step. Banks and Baker are the mother-daughter dynamic duo behind BLUEPRINT. After creating over 3,000 unique parties for kids, they decided to take their magical formula for a good time and create an online DIY party plan, or blueprint, that gives parents step-by-step instructions on how to create an amazing birthday party for their kids.
Part of their secret is the understanding that a great party is one that focuses on what the child truly wants and loves, and the importance of making every guest feel included. At BLUEPRINT, it’s not about expensive cakes and entertainment, but high energy games that are non-stop. The blueprint plans help parents to set their own budgets and plan what works best for their family. After developing their platform which took a year, they created an easy to navigate site that allows parents to select either custom or pre-designed parties. Over a dozen themes are available including Dinosaur, Field Day, Olympics, Lip Sync Madness, Camp, Hawaiian Luau, Pajama Party, and more. The feedback from parents has been phenomenal, helping busy moms (and dads) to stress less and have more fun.
WRITTEN BYDaria Brown