The women of this year’s Female Founders 100 share the lessons they’ve learned from being first, fearless, and formidable.
One of the most telling definitions of entrepreneurship, courtesy of Howard Stevenson, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is also one of the simplest: the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources controlled.
And let’s face it: In 2020, no one has been controlling anything. Whether it’s a pandemic, government-mandated business shutdowns, or unheard-of forest fires, the uncontrollable has erupted at a global level and filtered down to the trivial details of daily life.
But, as Stevenson tells us, if anyone has experience with the uncontrollable, it’s entrepreneurs. In spite of the challenges, entrepreneurs continue to do what they do best: improvise, adapt, and make something from nothing.
The women on Inc.‘s annual Female Founders 100 list show how to do just that. As our staff reports on startups and small businesses throughout the year, these are the women whose names keep reappearing. They are the most inspiring, the most creative, and the most tenacious role models in entrepreneurship–and therefore, the ones we are most excited to celebrate.
And, like Stevenson, these successful entrepreneurs are doing plenty of teaching. In fact, we’ve asked them to give us their best advice for company-building in five key areas: from vetting the idea, to finding the people and funding, to winning customers and creating a culture. There’s a lot to learn–and a lot to admire.