Issue No. 02: Women in Charge

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

The world is most definitely changing and one lesson the 2020 pandemic taught us was that humans are resilient in the pursuit of change. A callout within that pursuit of change is an ever-growing need for diversity, inclusion, and equality - including women's rights. Did you know that since 2014, close to 10,000 startups with at least one female founder have raised funding? Not to mention, the 'fairly' small venture space is starting to see more female-founded firms taking wind including Acrew, Backstage Capital, BBG Ventures, Canvas Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Define Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Fika Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Future Ventures, Future Positive Capital, Illuminate Ventures, Jane VC, The Perkins Fund, Pear Ventures, Portfolia, Reach Capital, Spero Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, Ulu Ventures, UpWest, Yes VC, Operator Collective, Moxxie Ventures, and of course EY Ventures Group.

Looking for some background?

  • In 1661, Margaret Hardenbroeck of New York inherited her late husband's trade business. She expanded the business to a full size real estate portfolio and died in 1690 as the wealthiest woman in New York.

  • In 1825, Rebecca Lukens inherited a steam power business after the death of her husband and father and became the first female CEO of an industrial manufacturer and one of the first female iron masters in the country.

  • By 1919, Madam C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove) had built a hair care business that earned $500,000, trained 40,000 Black women for sales careers, and made the largest single donation at the time ($5,000) to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

  • The year 1972 was the first time the US Census Bureau recognized female entrepreneurship.

Where are we at now? In 2019, $26.7 billion investments were made into companies with at least one female co-founder and just over $6 billion in female only led companies.

Now, women account for at least 40% of the workforce and control more than $20 trillion in annual spending.

And to keep the inspiration going, here is a list of a few of the richest female entrepreneurs in the U.S. today:

  • Diane Hendricks: Co-Founder and Chairman of ABC Supply with a net worth of $6.98 billion

  • Marian Ilitch: Co-Founder of Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, and MotorCity Casino Hotel with a net worth of $6.12 billion

  • Judy Faulkner: Founder of medical-record software provider Epic with a net worth of $4.98 billion

  • Meg Whitman: Former CEO of eBay, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NewTV, and board member of Proctoer & Gamble and Dropbox with a net worth of $4.7 billion

  • Johnelle Hunt: Co-Founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services with a net worth of $4.56 billion

  • Oprah Winfrey: Founder of OWN with a net worth of $4.4 billion

  • Judy Love: Executive Secretary of Love and Chairman of the Love and Family Fund with a net worth of $4.27 billion

  • Doris Fisher: Co-Founder of Gap with a net worth of $3.99 billion

  • Elaine Wynn: Largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts with a net worth of $3.7 billion

  • Lynda Resnick: Co-Founder of Wonderful Co. with a net worth of $3.42 billion

Are you a female founder looking for the next big thing? Drop us a line at