This March we celebrate National Women’s History Month or International Women’s Month. Throughout the course of history, you have heard about many empowered women who took a stand. From the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg who championed gender equality in the US, to Harriet Tubman who was born a slave but freed slaves everywhere. Female empowerment started its course early in our history and prevails to this day.
At present, we recognize and applaud women entrepreneurs who continue to inspire both men and women throughout the globe. Let’s have a look at what made these women inspiring and how they continually affect people’s lives.
Top 5 Women Entrepreneurs
Cher Wang – # 5
Cher Wang is a Taiwanese philanthropist and entrepreneur whose net worth is $1.6 billion. Since 2007, she has been the co-founder and chairperson of HTC Corporation and VIA Technologies. She is considered one of the most influential and powerful women in the field of computer technology. One of her most notable actions was when she donated $28.1 million in 2011 to help fund the Guizhou Forerunner College. The goal of this charitable college in southwest China is to offer free or low-cost education to students from low-income households for 3 years.
What’s admirable about Cher Wang is that she prefers to stay out of the limelight and help out educational institutions. In fact, she has even made significant donations to US educational institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley. She also funded a collaborative program between the University of Berkeley and the Tsinghua University in Beijing for the Advanced Study in Psychology.
Denise Coates – # 4
Denise Coates is of British origin and founded the major online gambling company Bet365. Her net worth is worth $2.5 billion. Moreover, she founded the company back in January of 2000 and spent a year building and improving it before officially launching it to the public.
Perhaps one of the most admirable things about Denise Coates is that she was one of those hardworking students even though their family was well-off. She spent her younger years as a working student, working as a cashier at their family-owned bookmaking firm, Provincial Racing. Even after she graduated, she continued working at Provincial Racing as an accountant.
Denise Coates set up the Bet365 Foundation in 2012 which was renamed to the Denise Coates Foundation in 2016. As a registered English charity, it donated a total of £100 million to 20 charities as of 2014. Most of the charities that received donations are OXFAM, Douglas MacMillan hospice for cancer and stroke, CAFOD, and victims of the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The foundation’s beneficiaries are mostly educational institutions, hospitals and hospices, and victims of calamities.
Folorunsho Alakija – # 3
Folorunsho Alakija is a billionaire and philanthropist who hails from Nigeria. Her businesses revolve around fashion, real estate, oil, and printing industries. Her net worth is about $2.5 billion although she is not as famous as other female entrepreneurs. Folorunsho Alakija founded the tailoring company Supreme Stitches which paved the way for her other ventures into the oil and printing industry.
Alakija founded the Rose of Sharon Foundation that aids widows and orphans through scholarship grants and business grants.
Oprah Winfrey – # 2
Perhaps the most famous female entrepreneur is multi-talented talk show host, producer, actress, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. Oprah’s net worth is about $3 billion which makes her one of the most well-liked and famous female entrepreneurs. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has been the longest running talk show that has been running for 25 seasons to date.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and inspiring facts about Oprah is that she did not have an easy life. She was born poor to a single mother and was molested at a young age. Her pitfalls did not stop her from improving her life. At age 19, she became a co-anchor at a local evening news in Nashville, Tennessee. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
In 2004, Oprah Winfrey became the first black American to be included in the 50 most generous Americans. Oprah created Oprah’s Angel Network in 1998 which aims to support charitable projects and offer grants to non-profit organizations globally. In fact, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah spearheaded the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry and was able to raise $11 million to fund relief efforts.
Gina Rinehart – # 1
Gina Rinehart is an Australian magnate whose net worth is at $11.7 billion. She inherited the Hancock Prospecting Group from her father, which produces about 30 million tons of iron ore annually. She was able to expand the company when she took over and the company prospered well during the iron ore boom in the early 2000s.
Rinehart’s father founded the Westralian Secession Movement in the 1970s which she was an active supporter of.
Female Empowerment in the Present
In the past, history has not been kind to women, seeing them as the weaker gender. However, as time passed, women were able to prove themselves as formidable members of society. More and more women continue to make names for themselves and even lead countries. The likes of Indira Gandhi, Isabel Perón, Margaret Thatcher, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who even brought her baby to the UN General Assembly have made great contributions to countries. Being female did not stop them from standing up and making a name for themselves. They are out to prove that women can also be equal and even better than men.
Empowered women emerge not just because they are being taunted. Female empowerment emerges because women are out there to prove that they can make a difference and that they can affect change. To celebrate International Women’s Month this March, let’s say a silent prayer to give thanks to all the women out there who made a difference.
As a small business owner, how do you empower women in your company? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”– Melinda Gates