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Women Trailblazers: The Most Successful Female Founder in Every Country



If you are a female entrepreneur, it’s natural to feel like the odds are against you. After all, there continues to be a significant bias towards a male-leadership model, and investors still tend to be more cautious in their response to pitches from women.

You shouldn’t be put off by nay-sayers, though. If you’ve got a great business idea, it’s really worth persevering to make it happen. Despite the fact that only 15% of venture capital is invested in them, women-led businesses consistently offer a better return on that investment.

Women entrepreneurs out-perform their male counterparts in terms of revenue, in part because their motivations tend to be less profit-driven. With a more meaningful, customer led approach, greater interest in corporate social responsibility, and collaborative working culture, they are primed for greater overall success.

To celebrate the impressive achievements of women who are world leaders in startup business, BusinessFinancing have gathered data on the top female founders from country to country around the world. 

Top 5 Women Startup Founders Around the World

The data shows that startup success is possible across a wide range of industries, with particular success in fintech and e-commerce. The self-made women with the highest levels of finance are spread across the continents. Lucy Peng’s online finance company Ant, which is based in China, has achieved a massive $22 billion in funding. No wonder she was named Forbes’ 35th most-powerful woman in 2016.

Hot on Peng’s heels is Rebekah Neumann, whose US-based real-estate company The We Company, which specialises in establishing collaborative work spaces, achieved a significant $19.5 billion. With the third highest funding of $9.9 billion, Singapore’s Tan Hooi Ling has revolutionised transportation with her Grab app, which connects drivers and passengers. 

Innovating fintech to offer more personal finance services to smaller businesses, and creating a fairer personal lending platform, Kate Keenan (Judo Bank – Australia) and Victoria van Lennep (Lendable – UK) achieved similar funding levels of $1.4 and $1.2 billion, respectively.

Top Women Founders in Europe

In addition to Victoria van Lennep’s huge success in fintech with Lendable, the biotech and health industry is a thriving field for startups in Europe. Switzerland’s Ilise Lombardo has raised a $278 million fortune for the biopharmaceutical company Arvelle Therapeutics, specialising in treatments for  disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). In Sweden also, Josefin Langerd got $348 million for KRY’s healthcare and digital health services.

Lifestyle systems and wellness are flourishing fields for women entrepreneurs in eastern europe. Anja Varnicic raised an impressive $127,054 for her mini indoor garden enterprise in Serbia, and Belarussians Luba Pahkovskaya and Natalia Bahar each raised $265,000 each for their wellness and fitness app, Verv. 

Top Women Founders in North America

Women are making it big with e-commerce and business software in North AMerica. After Rebekah Neuman, Canada’s Michelle Romanov has raised $119.2 million for Clearbanc. The data also shows that community-focused startups are financially viable, with $100,000 raised by Marwa Alhaj in Panama for her security and communications software company, and $130,00 by Morgan Babbs, who is making a difference to low income houses with her solar solutions company, Colibri, in Nicaragua.

Top Women Founders in South America

Brazil’s Cristina Junqueira is pretty inspirational. Not only did she raise $1.1 billion for her finance company, Nubank, but she is also a vocal advocate for gender equality and inclusion in the world of business and finance. She clearly understands the benefit of being forward-thinking and how embracing diversity will attract new talent. No wonder she was listed twice as one of Forbes’ most powerful women!

Top Women Founders in the Middle East & Central Asia

There’s a lot going on for women entrepreneurs in this part of the world, with start up founders doing well in the fields of education (Lamia Tabbaa and Rami Kayyali at Little Thinking Minds in Jordan) and gaming (Rina Onur Sirinoglu at Peak Games in Turkey), as well as the usual finance and e-commerce. 

Making a significant difference to the field of biotech and health, Miri Ratner has raised $188M as co-founder of Yayar. Yayar developed a sensor that was initially intended as an early detection system for breast cancer, but has since found applications in robotics, intelligent vehicles, and security systems. 

Top Women Founders in the Rest of Asia & Oceania

Of the top ten financial successes in this region, half were in the fields of fintech and e-commerce. As well as frontrunners Lucy Peng (China) and Kate Keenen (Australia), Japan’s Miku Hirano has made great waves with her AI company, Cinnamon. Hirano was inspired to create innovative solutions to improve working culture after the birth of her child. She envisioned how AI assistance in cumbersome tasks could facilitate a healthier future for future generations.

Top Women Founders in Africa

Of the 15 African countries included in the study, women have made strides across a wide range of industries. As well as the usual fintech and e-commerce, various services are focused on helping people in the community access health care, energy, and resources.

Audrey Desiderato has achieved great success, raising $81.3 million for her solar-energy Kenyan company, SunFunder, while Alima Bawah’s Cowtribe made $1.7 million to provide farmers with animal vaccines in Ghana, and Brenda Katwesigye raised $800,000 for WaziVision to provide recycled glasses to people in Uganda.

From finance to farming, there’s more to building a successful startup than money. Women entrepreneurs have a talent for seeing how business affects people, and that makes a big difference.

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How You Can Start Networking in Style in 2023

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make



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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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