March is Women's History Month—a time to honor the great strides women entrepreneurs have made over the years. The inroads forged by these business owners have led to a vibrant business climate full of possibilities now and in the future.
"In the past 20 years, women entrepreneurs have shown courage and grit by pursuing their goals and leading companies in a new way," says Cheryl Cran, author and founder of business consulting firm NextMapping.
"For female entrepreneurs today, there's no ceiling beyond the one you put up for yourself," says Cran. "Today's women business owners model how women can create freedom and flexibility, while achieving financial success."
Hopes for Future Women Entrepreneurs
The inroads made by today's women business owners have inspired young female entrepreneurs like 13-year-old Alina Morse. She invented Zollipops® and Zaffi® Taffy, all-natural, sugar-free candies designed to improve oral health and fight children's tooth decay.
"Self-made women entrepreneurs using their platforms for good have shown me that women can do anything and be successful," says Morse. "Being a young woman entrepreneur is super exciting, and I'm very passionate about it. I believe the number of female CEOs will continue to increase. I look forward to being known as a CEO, rather than a female CEO."
"Every time a female entrepreneur succeeds, she provides inspiration and a 'way' for others to follow," says Cran. "My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they dream big and develop the skills to run successful businesses and lead dynamic teams."
The following 20 women entrepreneurs share additional hopes and dreams for future female business leaders.
Increased Mentorship and Networking Opportunities
"My hope for future women entrepreneurs is increased mentorship, because the biggest ROI we can experience is tied into the number of females we pull up when we're at the top. Company owners have the power to hire, develop, mentor and elevate women, and nobody is better positioned to do that than women business owners."
—Ximena Hartsock, president, Phone2Action
"Fortunately for women today, there are more female mentors willing to groom the next generation of female power brokers. There are also more high-ranking women in all industries reaching out to other women entrepreneurs. Today, 40 percent of my clients are women, and that's a sign of the times."
—Andrea Davis, principal, Andrea Davis CRE
When women business owners step into the unknown, they become CEOs of their businesses and their lives.
—Randi Levin, owner, Randi Levin Coaching
"I hope future women in business enjoy more development, networking and mentoring opportunities. And I hope there is a broader network for women to connect and share experiences within and outside their industries."
—Maureen Waters, president, Ten-X Commercial
"I want women to realize their innate potential to succeed. I hope that women can continue to use the available platforms to connect with one another and lead by example, emulating successful women entrepreneurs. There is great value in seeing a face like yours as a woman business owner. It opens up a world of possibilities."
—Jana McDaniel, creator, managing member, First Saturday Lime
More Overall Acceptance of Women Entrepreneurs
"I hope that future female entrepreneurs feel empowered and empower other women by fearlessly pushing boundaries, confronting stereotypes and leading without apology. I hope they have the same opportunities as their male counterparts and that they come to be thought of as simply entrepreneurs, rather than women entrepreneurs."
—Roberta (Beta) Antunes, CEO, Hack
"I hope that society starts to accept and encourage more female entrepreneurships so that women who want to change the world and make a mark don't feel that they're alone in their endeavors."
—Dr. Adeeti Gupta, founder, Walk In GYN Care
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they start to earn the wealth, ownership and respect that they deserve, and that we reach a time when we can just say CEO and entrepreneur without even needing to add the woman in front of it."
—Ann Clark, founder and CEO, ACI Specialty Benefits
Easier Access to Financial Resources
"My hope for women is that they continue to stretch the boundaries of what types of companies they would like to start. I also hope that financial institutions realize that women-owned and led businesses are worth the investment. That they are no longer inhibited by a lack of access to capital and other outside resources."
—Alison Gutterman, president and CEO, Jelmar
"I hope future female entrepreneurs aren't afraid to dream big and aim high. Being a female in the room is a powerful advantage. I hope more women will resonate with this. I also hope there will continue to be more female entrepreneurs, so that they'll have easier access to support, resources and help."
—Sylvia Gorajek, video storyteller and content strategist, Denim Video
Develop Fearless Focus and Determination
"My hope for future women entrepreneurs is that they stay focused and learn from current women entrepreneurs as role models. Whatever their passion is, I hope they make their ultimate goal to work for themselves. I'd like them to know that being your own boss is the best way to build an empire."
—Bobbi Peterson, orthodontist and owner, All Things Dr. Bobbi/Aces Braces
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they continue to be gutsy, creative, resourceful, and speak up as they reach for their goals. I also hope they never forget to be grateful to those who have come before us, as we all stand on the shoulders of giants."
—Helena Escalante, speaker, author and founder, EntreGurus
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they believe they can have success if they take risks and understand that time is their biggest resource, not money. I also hope they make granular decisions every day that lead to success, and they don't feel bad about establishing boundaries, because they're essential to success."
—Kelly Hager, founder and CEO, Arras Sisters
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they continue to blaze trails and cross bridges from the safe and understood to the scary and unfamiliar. It's in the scary and unfamiliar that growth thrives and legacy comes to life. When women business owners step into the unknown, they become CEOs of their businesses and their lives."
—Randi Levin, owner, Randi Levin Coaching
Live an Authentic, Satisfying Life
"My hope and dream for female entrepreneurs is that they build lives they truly love that give them the freedom to work the hours they want and live the lifestyles they deserve. I hope they learn that with the right foundation and support system, they can have the careers and lives they desire."
—Kelly Roach, CEO and founder, Kelly Roach International
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they can overcome the pressure to wear all hats at all times. Rather, I hope they feel comfortable and supported with the choices they make to pursue their visions."
—Phuong Uyen Tran, author of Competing with Giants and deputy CEO, THP Beverage Group
"My hope for future female entrepreneurs is that they find their voices and engage in the conversations they are most afraid to have—even if those conversations are with themselves. Only when women entrepreneurs are truly open and honest about what matters most do the big challenges and issues get resolved."
—Stacey Engle, president, Fierce Conversations
Experience More Equal Footing
"I hope that our coming generation of entrepreneurs will have the power to remove the unspoken bias that currently exists for females in the corporate world. That they'll have the power to run hand-in-hand with male entrepreneurs and succeed in establishing more new ventures and developing new innovations."
—Komal Dangi, CEO, Synkriom
"My wish for future female entrepreneurs is that they possess the confidence and courage to use their voices and speak their truths. Despite fears, I hope that they're driven to shine and pursue success."
—Carolyn Lowe, owner and marketing consultant, Carolyn Lowe
"I hope in the future people won't feel the need to say someone is a female this or a female that. What I hope is considered remarkable is the company the woman business owner builds and the employees she hires. This is not to diminish the women entrepreneurs of history. Somebody had to forge the path, and that is also something to be especially admired."
—Lisa Tadewaldt, CEO, Urban Forest Pro
"I hope there are many more women entrepreneurs in the future. It only makes sense that the highest level of companies reflects the gender diversity of the workforce."
—Shelley Cline, president, TCS World Travel
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