5 Startup success stories to inspire your confidence


This guide outlines 5 startup success stories of inspiring women who overcame obstacles to nail it.

You think you have an excellent idea for a business. You know you would like to go it alone and bring your innovative ideas to the world. However, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs say that a good idea alone is not enough. It takes a great deal of hard work and passion for succeeding too. However, the idea is a great start.

If you can harness an innovative idea with the right business model, you could be one of the increasing number of women who make it as entrepreneurs. What used to very much be a man’s world is slowly but inexorably changing as women prove themselves in business.

Do not be put off by complexities and jargon. Instead, test your idea, write your business plan and start by putting one foot in front of the other. Many of the most successful businesses started small and then snowballed into what they are now.

Other entrepreneurs started out doing one thing and changed direction after a while. The ride may be bumpy at times, and you will make mistakes along the way.

5 startup success stories

Here are some stories of women entrepreneurs whose entrepreneurship has brought them to the public’s attention.

Sophia Amoruso

The founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss Media is a prime example of a female entrepreneur who has not had a straightforward ride and has had to overcome knockbacks. She initially set up Nasty Gal aimed at Millennials, but in 2015, she had to step down as CEO, and then the company filed for bankruptcy. Rather than giving up, she proved that you could not keep an inspiring woman down. She dusted herself off and set up Girl Boss. Girl Boss is a site that advises and empowers women. It covers topics such as beauty, careers, wellness, and more. At the age of 37, she has been on a rollercoaster. She has gone from being worth $280 million in 2016 to a mere $5 million today, but her star is definitely on the ascent again. If, at first, you don’t succeed …

Lesley Eccles


Along with her husband, Lesley Eccles was one of the co-founders of the igaming site FanDuel. The company is a prominent, reputable name in online gaming, perhaps even one of the most popular WV online casinos, although they also offer betting on sports and fantasy sports. Like others in the industry, FanDuel has benefitted from the legalization of online betting across many US states. However, the Eccles family is no longer involved in the business. The requirement for capital in the start-up years saw their stake reduced to such a level that when the company was sold, there was little financial benefit to them. Nigel Eccles went on to sue the board for $100 million for allegedly cheating the founders and early employees out of their stake. For a while, Lesley Eccles said she would never touch another start-up. However, Eccles realized how meaningful her relationship with her husband was and how the stresses of FanDuel had endangered it. She set up a relationship training app called Relish. She says that the purpose of the app is to,

“Build a happy, healthy, more connected relationship with unlimited text-based coaching and a fully customized improvement plan.”

Apple immediately listed the app, and Eccles is back on the road to success.

Denise Coates


It would be hard to create an article about inspiring women start-ups and not include Denise Coates of Bet 365. Unlike Eccles, her business experience in the gambling industry has brought her real success and riches. After graduating from university, she returned to her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent in the UK. What had once been a thriving pottery town was down on its heels in post-industrial Britain. Her father owned a chain of betting shops. Denise took a punt on the future of online betting and persuaded the family to buy the URL Bet365. They then mortgaged the shops and used the capital raised to invest in their own software systems. With impeccable timing and business acumen, Coates created one of the world’s largest online gambling sites and created high-value jobs in her hometown. She is now one of the UK’s wealthiest people and is the country’s highest tax-payer.

Robyn Fenty


Another businesswoman who was not afraid to try a new direction was Robyn Fenty. Pop fans might be more familiar with her stage name, Rihanna, but Fenty has come out from under her umbrella to be an entrepreneurial idol. She became a household name in the beauty industry after pioneering a 40-shade range of foundation. Next, she wanted to create a skincare range suitable for all skin colors and types, which is what the Fenty Beauty brand delivers. She also owns Fenty x Savage and Fenty House. In addition, she has the powerful back of luxury goods company LMVH, whose brands include Louis Vuitton and Dior. She has used her high profile and ingenuity to ensure success now and in the future.

Jennifer Hyman


While Rihanna might strut her stuff on the catwalk and stage in the most exclusive brands, most of us would assume that luxury brands are out of budget. However, Jennifer Hyman came up with the genius idea of Rent The Runway. This niche business basically created a shared wardrobe of designer dresses. It is a subscription-based service, and women can hire a designer dress, wear it and send it back after the event in a pre-paid envelope. Not only does the business model allow people to wear everything they want, but it also helps to cut down on the waste in the fashion industry. Clothes no longer finish up in landfill or at the back of closets but are worn by a total stranger in another location. The founder is now estimated to be worth $300 million.

Martha Stewart


Martha Stewart is one of the pioneering female entrepreneurs whose influence has touched multiple generations. At the age of 80, she is still an inspiration to many women worldwide. Stewart rose to stardom as a celebrity chef, published cookery boos, and wrote columns for newspapers and magazines. In 1997 she created her own media company to centralize her ventures under one roof. Her business operates under the name of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She has never veered far from the path her initial success was built on and has continued building her personal brand. She continues to focus on her cooking while making TV and radio appearances. Stewart has overcome numerous problems in her long career, including a felony charge which led to her imprisonment. However, after her release in 2005, she returned to work, rebuilding her career, brand, and fortune.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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