2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in The US – on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment to its Constitution finally gave women in the country their full voting rights. However, it is much more than just that. It is also the year that female-owned U.S. businesses are expected to make up 50% of the census, owing to a strong economy, increased funding, and progressive policies that promote and support women in the workplace. A study by PitchBook shows that VC investment in companies founded by women reached $17.2 billion in 2019 from just $2 billion in 2009, along with policies that improve access to child care and pay parity.
While there is still a lot more to be done to promote and improve conditions for women entrepreneurship, they are rapidly making their presence felt in the world market. The following are five such women entrepreneurs leading successful businesses, who you must watch out for in 2020!
- Angelica Nwandu, founder of The Shade Room
Angelica Nwandu had launched The Shade Room, an entertainment news site, in March 2014. With humble origins in her self-proclaimed “roach-infested” bedroom, the website has now grown into an enormous media empire. Through her platform, she has made immense strides in elevating and championing black culture, by means of piercing articles, news pieces, video series, and more. Turning six this year, it has close to 35 million readers per week, and is expected to surpass 17 million Instagram followers in 2020. In addition, it has also seen a 50% year-on-year growth in revenue and will continue this trend in 2020, as well.
- Katie Echevarria Rosen Kitchens, co-founder of FabFitFun
Katie Echevarria Rosen Kitchens founded FabFitFun in 2010, and since then, has revolutionised the industry completely. The lifestyle company regularly sends subscribers specially curated products at heavily discounted prices. Today, the company has over 1 million subscribers, and also runs the FabFitFun TV streaming service, which offers members on-demand wellness videos, daily lifestyle content, an online community, and exclusive sales and shopping experiences, throughout the year. Last year, it had a billion-dollar valuation and expanded to the U.K., teaming up with QVC. This shows that the enterprise will only grow further in 2020, reaching all new heights.
3-4. Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine
Shine was founded in 2016 by Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, when they realised the need for everyone have a way of supporting and feeling supported by one another. The self-care app sends text-based messages of encouragement every day to its users, uplifting and motivating them to make the most of the day. Today, it has grown into an incredibly popular wellness and self-help app, which shares daily meditation practices, words of guidance, and support, to over 2 million subscribers. It had received $5 million in Series A funding in 2018, and has also included several new features, like audio “stories” that help subscribers fall asleep, and the “Shine Squad” community that takes the brand’s sense of support and community, further!
- Emily Bernard, co-founder of PlacePass
Founded in 2016, PlacePass has disrupted the entire tourism industry with its unique and innovative travel services. It offers deep insights and know-how on unique and specially curated experiences in exotic destinations, such as a balloon safari in South Africa, watching sumo wrestlers practise at a sumo stable in Tokyo, and more. Today, it features over 200,000 experiences in more than 180 countries, all over the world. It also partnered with Marriott International recently, in order to provide guests with access to unique experiences, and has a similar partnership with Southwest Airlines, as well, besides developing software for travel brands. As a result, the company is only expected to grow further this year, and offer even newer adventures and novel experiences to travellers globally!