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Female Founders Making History

Selfgood team, Marketing at Selfgood

Over the past decade, the United States has seen a significant uptick in the number of women stepping into the role of business owner. Some women are running essential corporations. Others are launching their startups. A little over 1,800 new woman-owned businesses were founded in 2019. The second most ever in a single year behind only 1,821 new women-owned firms launched in 2018. Women-owned companies are surging because of flexibility, opportunity, and a desire for a diversity of perspective.

Three notable women who led their startups to massive success include Sara Blakely, Reese Witherspoon, and Whitney Wolfe Herd. All three women have grown their startups from nothing. They’ve taken them to new heights by selling them or taking them public in the past year. In honor of International Women’s Day, here are some of the incredible achievements these powerhouse woman-owned businesses have amassed over the years:

Sara Blakely, Spanx

Sara Blakely is a female founder who launched Spanx, an innovative clothing brand for women, in her Atlanta apartment in 2000. Blakely has become internationally recognized for her business leadership and entrepreneurship, landing on Time Magazine’s ‘Top 100’ list in 2012. She became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. In 2021, they sold a majority stake in Spanx for $1.2 billion to Blackstone, a New York-based investment management company. Blakely celebrated the sale of Spanx by surprising each of her 750 employees with $10,000 in cash and two free first-class plane tickets to anywhere they wanted. An all-female board of directors supports Blakely as she continues to lead Spanx as executive chairwoman.

Reese Witherspoon, Hello Sunshine

Reese Witherspoon founded Hello Sunshine, a mission-driven media company celebrating women in 2016. Hello, Sunshine has produced six award-winning TV shows with women at the center of every story. It includes The Morning Show on Apple TV, Big Little Lies on HBO Max, and Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu. Witherspoon continues to lead Hello Sunshine after selling a stake in the company for $900 million to a media company backed by Blackstone in 2021.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble

Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble as a “feminist” dating app to revolutionize the industry. Bumble empowers its female users by only allowing women to interact with a potential match first. However, Wolfe Herd has turned Bumble into more than a dating app, adding ‘BFF’ mode for those looking for platonic friendships. She developed ‘Bumble Bizz’ to put women first in professional networking. Then, she created a lifestyle magazine called Bumble Mag in 2019. Bumble became a publicly traded company in 2021. Initially valued at $43 per share, Bumble opened at $76, valuing the company at nearly $13 billion.

Women in Leadership – Female Founders

While significant sales and valuations are being made for Blakely, Witherspoon, and Wolfe Herd, nearly 2,000 women are stepping into business leadership each year through their enterprises. This is happening for a variety of reasons, including:


Amid ‘The Great Resignation,’ thousands of women are leaving the monotonous grind of working a corporate 9-5 for the dynamic task of launching their businesses. Women gain complete control over the culture of their own business – whether working as a one-person team or leading a group of employees. Female entrepreneurs also control when and where they work in their companies. Some seek the freedom to explore, working online from anywhere, while others desire flexibility for a healthier work-life balance or to grow a family.


Entrepreneurs see issues they can solve through a business enterprise. For example, Blakely and Wolfe Herd launched Spanx and Bumble to solve societal problems. Spanx creates comfortable and functional clothing for women, while Bumble empowers women online. Women in business leadership help to create a better society through unique solutions to everyday problems.

New Perspective.

Women across the country are taking control of their careers and becoming their bosses. Many women stepping into leadership have proven to be efficient and intentional leaders. Kevin O’Leary is a renowned Shark Tank shark and business mogul known as ‘Mr. Wonderful’, has routinely invested in female entrepreneurs. “Attributes that I have observed are that they take less risk and are more goal-oriented in setting and meeting targets. If they say, ‘I am going to expand capacity, or we’re going to increase distribution in the next quarter,’ they deliver,” Mr. Wonderful explained. “It’s not an intuitive feeling. It’s actual hardcore results.”

Woman-Owned Success: By the Numbers Female Founders

The numbers back up his claims. Between 2014 and 2019, the growth rate of women-owned companies was 3.9% annually. This is significantly more than the growth rate of all businesses during the same time frame. It only increased by 1.7% each year.

Female are business titans like Blakely, Witherspoon, and Wolfe Herd have paved the way for women nationwide. They’re all looking to establish themselves as business leaders. As a result, opportunities for corporations, small businesses, and women to lead are increasing rapidly throughout the United States. More women seek professional autonomy through flexibility and solve societal issues with unique business solutions. Learn more from our blog.