Scott Cathcart

Entrepreneur | Impact Investor | Triathlete

4 of the Top Businesses Founded by Women

In recent years, it has become apparent that female entrepreneurs are developing some of the world’s biggest and most revolutionary companies. And while they may not always realize it, most businesses likely use numerous products or services produced by women to achieve their biggest goals. Here are just a few women who have taken the business world by storm and why they’re inspiring a new generation of leaders.

Cisco Systems

When entrepreneur Sandy Lerner first developed a system to send emails to Stanford University buildings, she probably didn’t realize that she had created an idea potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Using her tech background and keen problem-solving skills, however, Lerner managed to revolutionize the IT industry forever. Indeed, Cisco Systems is now known far and wide as one of the best tech companies in the world.

Flickr

Long before Instagram became the world’s top photo-sharing website, Flickr revolutionized social media by enabling individuals to post their photographs and share work with other users. As a co-founder of Flickr, Caterina Fake has changed how people view social media, and the entrepreneur made a fortune when Yahoo acquired the company in 2005.

Y Combinator

Co-founded by Jessica Livingston in 2007, Y Combinator has revolutionized the way that start-ups achieve success. Providing seed capital to some of the most profitable businesses in the tech sphere, the company’s unique and meritocratic system for providing investment funds to burgeoning companies has made the business a premiere destination for tomorrow’s most capable entrepreneurs. Its “Hacker News” aggregation site also remains a must-read for Silicon Valley’s brightest stars.

Pepperidge Farm

Now one of the most successful companies in the US, Pepperidge Farm was founded in 1937 by female entrepreneur Margaret Rudkin. At a time when it was almost impossible for women to break into the upper echelons of the business world, Rudkin redefined what a successful executive looked like; indeed, she was the first female member elected to the board of the Campbell Soup Company. Rudkin’s ability to overcome immense obstacles and break the glass ceiling in the corporate sphere is still inspiring people today.

As these entrepreneurs have shown, female leaders have developed some of the best ideas in business history. And while society still has much caught up to do on issues related to gender equality in the workplace, it is clear that women entrepreneurs won’t let themselves be held back from making the business world a better and more meritocratic place. Truly, that is business at its best!

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