Group of three woman coworkers sitting in an office looking at a tablet.
These 10 successful companies, all founded by women, have since become well-known names in the business world and beyond. — Getty Images/Morsa Images

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women and employ nearly 9 million people in the United States. These numbers are no small feat when you consider that just 50 years ago, there were only around 400,000 women-owned businesses in the country.

Opportunities in the modern age such as increased funding options for women-owned businesses have set new standards for success. Here are 10 successful companies started by women.

[Read more: 10 Funding Options for Women-Owned Businesses]


Founded by Anne Wojcicki in 2006, 23andMe allows the average person to get a better understanding of their genetic background. According to the 23andMe Blog, Wojcicki helped change the healthcare industry in part due to her frustration with “a system built around monetizing illness instead of incentivizing prevention.”


Whitney Wolfe capitalized on the dating app scene at a time when options for women who wanted a safer online dating experience felt unseen. Competing with the likes of Tinder and Hinge, Wolfe turned Bumble into a billion-dollar brand thanks to her ingenuity and deep understanding of her audience.


Founded by Melanie Perkins in 2013, Canva has quickly become a staple for startup companies and marketing gurus alike. Rivaling Adobe, Perkins’s web-based design app is famous for its user-friendly interface and free-to-start features.


Joining the billion-dollar “brand-wagon” is Emily Weiss, who grew her beauty brand, Glossier, from small pop-up stores in 2014 to the national success it is today.

Weiss has this to say about female entrepreneurship: “Women are so hungry to have more role models who have achieved what they want in their careers.”

“As a female, you have to realize that you can do big things and have to believe you deserve it,” Latham said in an interview with MSNBC.

The Honest Company

Jessica Alba is well-known for her acting roles, but her wellness brand, The Honest Company, showed the world a different side to the star-turned-entrepreneur.

According to, the company touts that “a happy, healthy life should be a right, not a privilege.” This message has prevailed and The Honest Company products can be found on grocery store shelves across the nation.

Orangetheory Fitness

At 54 years old, exercise physiologist Ellen Latham decided to switch career paths and pursue her dream of opening the science-based fitness franchise, Orangetheory Fitness.

“As a female, you have to realize that you can do big things and have to believe you deserve it,” Latham said in an interview with MSNBC.

[Read more: Check out our interview with Orangetheory Fitness Co-founder Ellen Latham here.]


The famous dermatologist-approved skincare line designed by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields can be found in just about any department store that sells skincare products. Rodan and Fields’ expertise as medical professionals and whip-smart entrepreneurs paid off as celebrity sponsorships continue to promote the success of Proactiv products.


From saleswoman to CEO, Sara Blakely started Spanx in 2000 when she saw a need for high-quality undergarments that made women feel beautiful. Blakely has since used her brand’s success to give back through philanthropy and now offers advice and opportunities to up-and-coming entrepreneurs on the show “Shark Tank.”

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix, founded by Katrina Lake, is an online personalized styling service that obtained Series B funding in 2013. Offering a range of styling options for men and women (including plus sizes), Lake’s business appealed to those who wanted to look fashionable without the time-consuming department store retail experience.


In 2013, co-founders Heidi Zak and Ra’el Cohen launched their lingerie company, ThirdLove, in the face of a huge competitor: Victoria’s Secret. Their marketing approach set them apart from the competition, speaking to women’s empowerment rather than capitalizing on bodily insecurities.

[Read more: How to Build a Stronger Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Women]

Everyone can do their part to support the startup and continued success of women-owned businesses, whether you’re an investor or a consumer. The continued support is essential in building a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem for women.

Until then, keep an eye out for the next big business on your radar as more female entrepreneurs make names for themselves.

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