The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship and resources that support each stage of a business's development and growth.
When recently asked to name one female CEO under the age of 30 who had inspired them in the last three months and what she did that was so inspiring, YEC members had the following to say.
Jess Lee is an incredible under-30 CEO, period (regardless of gender). Jess leads Polyvore, which is the largest fashion social network in the world. She has incredible skill building amazing products, and also [is adept] in social media. For example, she recently put on a NYC Fashion Week show featuring the top fashion bloggers: brilliant move. The event got lots of blog attention and media hype. —Eric Bahn, founder of Beat the GMAT
One of my mentors and big inspirations in business is Laura Roeder, founder of LKR, who recently relaunched her Creating Fame program. This program catapulted my early business attempts into a real presence on the web, and she just keeps creating more and more outstanding programs for fellow entrepreneurs. —Nathalie Lussier, CEO and founder of Nathalie Lussier Media
I was so proud of and inspired by the launch of Lauren Berger's first book, All Work, No Pay, a National Campus Bestseller. This title extends her Intern Queen brand and opened up phenomenal press opportunities, including an appearance on the Today Show. —Elizabeth Saunders, CEO and founder of Real Life E
As a young entrepreneur myself, I love what Sarah has done with Sprouter. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey, so the ability to tap into renown leaders, investors and experts makes Sprouter an invaluable conduit to the knowledge you need to succeed. —Ryan Stephens, founder of Ryan Stephens Marketing
Adriann Wanner of evoJets, a company that brokers private jet flights around the world, inspires me. She founded a company in a niche space because she saw an opportunity to create more value for customers. Her missions to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience and build a sustainable business are exemplary. —Doreen Bloch, CEO and founder of Poshly
Natalie MacNeil has created an amazing blog and has a solid following of female readers. She is a true connector, mentor and wants the best for the women around her. Aside from co- founding YEC Women, she also won an Emmy at a young age. She rocks, and is a genuine entrepreneur who cares about the success of others around her. —Kris Ruby, president of Ruby Media Group
7. Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway
Jennifer Hyman co-founded Rent the Runway only a few years ago. She has done an amazing job of taking a product reserved only for the wealthy into a business model that allows everyone to feel like a star for a day. She is a first-time CEO, and it's inspirational to see an incredibly creative company grow from nothing to over $30 million in funding! —Aaron Schwartz, CEO and founder of Modify Watches
Not only did Alexa manage to raise over $24 million and recruit the former CEO of Huffington Post and COO of DailyCandy, but LearnVest's tools and resources help women manage their finances. LearnVest's impact on the New York startup scene has been unmatched, and she remains a great role model for female entrepreneurs. —Matt Wilson, co-founder of Under30CEO.com
Every time I hear Jessica's story I'm inspired. First of all, she finished high school at age 15 and went on to study computer science at [University of California, Berekley] right after. Not too long ago, she launched inDinero, an amazing product for small businesses that's doing quite well. —Ben Lang, founder of EpicLaunch
Pictured (clockwise, from top left): Aaron Schwartz, Elizabeth Saunders, Nathalie Lussier, Eric Bahn, Matt Wilson, Kris Ruby
Photo credits: Courtesy subjects