American women entrepreneurs rank their well-being as twice as high as non-entrepreneurs and non-business owners, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor U.S. Report from Babson College and Baruch College. The report also shows that one out of every 10 women in the U.S. are starting or running their own business.
Despite the happiness quotient and rising numbers of female entrepreneurs, business can still be a struggle. Babson College’s Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital found that less than 3 percent of venture capital-funded companies have a female at the helm as CEO. Although a lack of funding can add an extra layer of challenge and complication, it hasn’t kept female executives and entrepreneurs down.
If you’re looking to start your own business, take the advice from some of the leading entrepreneurs, who are also moms with families on their minds, and get inspired to rise through the ranks.
Candace Matthews spent years as the President of the L’Oreal SoftSheen-Carson division before resigning to take the post as Amway’s Chief Marketing Officer. Matthews recommends finding a mentor who is honest and holds you accountable. She encourages women to look for people who will motivate them forward without compromising their values.
Matthews put that advice into action when she made the switch to the family-friendly Amway that helps turn everyday people into entrepreneurs. Instead of jumping on the new opportunity for prestige or money, Matthews tells Huffington Post that her job demands made it difficult to balance work and family. She admits that people thought she was crazy for leaving her post, but she wanted a role that gave her more time with her family when they needed her the most. The move paid off. She got that coveted time with family, and her position at Amway opened exciting new doors by sending her around the world to do things she never envisioned.
Dubbed the original mompreneur, Baby Einstein founder Julie Aigner-Clark sold her collection of children’s books, videos, and music albums to the Walt Disney Company. She then focused on her new company, the Safe Side, which makes videos like Stranger Safety that earned three Emmys. Clark is also a breast cancer survivor and has been in the spotlight for the controversy surrounding Baby Einstein, as some studies have suggested any screen time is harmful for babies and calls out Baby Einstein in the process.
Aigner-Clark shares her wisdom about overcoming struggles as a female entrepreneur with Colorado Health and Wellness. She states that not giving up, fighting, believing, and advocating for yourself is important. Aigner-Clark put that wisdom to the test as she battled cancer multiple times, launched multiple successful businesses, and continues to work to bring classical music and art to babies.
Sheila Marcelo, the founder of Care.com, is notorious for raising an impressive $111 million for her company in a world where female-backed businesses suffer from a lack of funding. Marcelo credits the combination of her professional and personal background as the inspiration for her company and her motivation to push forward. After becoming a wife and mother in college, Marcelo struggled to find care for her infant. The problem only continued while building her career. Later she had the same problem of finding care for her ailing father.
Focusing on her own business and technical background allowed Marcelo to see the possibilities of her company, that is now touted as the Amazon of the caregiving marketplace. She also had to overcome self-doubt when others questioned her using her impressive degrees and credentials to launch a glorified babysitting service. Her belief in herself, coupled with a need in the marketplace to help other parents, especially moms, paid off to the tune of $111 million in funding.