There is no shortage of famous female entrepreneurs and CEOs to be inspired by in 2020. While there still aren’t as many female founders and females in leadership positions as there are males, there are quite a few that have made an impression on the world. If you don’t know their names, you probably know their companies. And we couldn’t be more inspired by what they’ve accomplished.
Most of these women have incredible stories and continue to work extremely hard to be where they are. Being an entrepreneur isn’t an easy task, but these women persevere.
So if you’re looking for famous female entrepreneurs to be inspired by, we have seven of our favorites below.
Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American famous female entrepreneur. Huffington moved to America after studying economics at The University of Cambridge. After being a conservative commentator, she switched over to liberal politics. And eventually created the site The Huffington Post, a popular news resource platform that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012.
Arianna Huffington is also an author, writing more than a dozen books. And it doesn’t stop there. More recently, Huffington stepped away from The Huffington Post, creating Thrive Global, a startup that is dedicated to health and wellness.
We all know who Oprah is. But more important than knowing who she is, do you know what she does/has done?
Oprah’s The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years, winning the award for the longest-running daytime talk show… ever. But she’s not only a talented actress and talk-show host, she even has her very own network, OWN. And she’s also a producer (with her own production company, Hapro (her name spelled backward)) and a philanthropist.
Named the “world’s most powerful woman” by Time.com and CNN, Oprah has continually inspired us. Coming from a background of sexual abuse, poverty, and rough times at a young age, she proves that anything is possible.
You’ve heard of Spanx, right? Sara Blakely is the creator of this multi-million dollar company. Spanx is an undergarment company that has transformed into more than just that – with athletic wear, swimwear, everyday clothes, and so many more products in more than 65 countries.
It all started when Sara created a pair of “Spanx” from pantyhose that she could wear under white slacks. The idea for Spanx was sparked, but she didn’t have much money to put into the company. She was turned away by multiple investors she sought out. If you want to hear about her incredible journey launching her company, we highly recommend her episode of the How I Built This podcast.
Spanx has become a favorite (and a must) for women all over the world. Since Spanx is headquartered in Atlanta, it’s only right that Blakely is also a co-founder of the Atlanta Hawks (right?).
Yang Lan is a Chinese television journalist, businesswoman and entrepreneur. People often refer to Lan as one of the most powerful women in the media in China – and some even refer to her as the “Chinese Oprah”. Yang Lan does a lot of on-air work discussing social and cultural issues, and she co-founded Sun Media Group with her husband Bruno Wu.
After years spent in America, she launched a documentary show called Yang Lan’s Horizon. The doc shows how China and America work together and the similarities they share. She’s also cofounded SunTV, which is the first satellite channel in Greater China that focuses on culture and history.
Sheryl Sandberg is an author, technology executive, and activist. She is the COO of Facebook, where she’s also the first woman serving on its board of directors.
She’s also a board member for several companies including The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, and Center for Global Development. Before joining Facebook, Sandberg helped to launch Google’s philanthropic site, Google.org.
Sandberg was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 by Time Magazine.
If there’s one famous female entrepreneur on this list that you know, it’s Beyoncé. Beyoncé’s main stream of income comes from the music industry – of course, but that’s not her only source of income.
Beyoncé has ventured into many other areas over the years – even teaming up Adidas to form her very own clothing line, Ivy Park.
Indra Nooyi is a business executive who serves at PepsiCo’s CEO. Nooyi joined the company in 1994, later becoming the CFO and eventually gaining the CEO title. Throughout the years, Nooyi has ranked in the top 100 most powerful women. She was ranked 2nd in Fortune’s 2015 list of Most Powerful Women when she removed aspartame from Diet Pepsi.
Indra Nooyi is not only the CEO of PepsiCo, she also serves on the boards of Amazon, International Cricket Council, and Schlumberger.