Women Entrepreneurs Share their Stories and Advice

Women Entrepreneurs

Women Entrepreneurs with backgrounds in Business, Technology, Fashion, Health, Lifestyle and Education talk about their lives, what motivates them, and give advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs.

Women entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly common in the startup world. But, it is still an uphill battle for the women who desire to start and grow a scalable startup. The challenges are enormous, but have not deterred women from around the world from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. Each of these women have a story to tell about the goals they are pursuing. As a result, we have talked with a few of them to learn more about what motivates them and the advice they have for other women entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur Interviewed: Laura Angel, CEO, My Job Studio

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

My Job Studio

Co-Founder, Laura Angel

Ms. Angel:  “The main motivation for My Job Studio was to help unemployed professionals in Latin America, while also assisting companies struggling with unmotivated employees or those who don’t have the productivity level they’d wished for.

As a former Public Policy student, I am aware of the impact of losing “talents” in the region and how it impacts the development in the region. Coming from my country, I’ve found that some of my extremely talented friends are wasting their knowledge as time goes by. For us, that is a competitive advantage of our region that is being wasted.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs ?

Ms. Angel: “I volunteer for an organization, pro – women in Latin America. In my experience, women are rock-stars when they’re combined. The mind power of a woman is enlightening but when organized towards a common goal, Oh! that’s unstoppable. That’s our essence. We are proactive, productive and natural… So I believe the best advice I could ever give to another woman is to keep simple and remain natural. The best asset of a woman, is being a woman herself but when applied to business, we are able to offer disruptive solutions from basic concepts. There are no limits.”

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Entrepreneurs Interviewed: Adriana Cachay, CEO & Co-founder and Laerke Skyum, Co-founder, AYNI

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

Ms. Cachav: “Since I was a little girl my passion for fashion was very clear. My two grandmothers taught me how to sew and how to knit when I was a kid. My grandmother is a tailor and she used to make the polleras (“dresses” in Spanish) for people. I have the best memories of my childhood seeing her choosing the colorful fabrics, cutting and sewing those beautiful polleras.  She was a very strong woman entrepreneur who was always a good example for me.

AyniAs a teenager I was aware of how privileged I was to have a family that gave me not only love but security and great education. For my parents the education was the best heritage they will give us. As a student I lead a group doing social work and helping abused children with Down syndrome.

AYNI is the result of my two passions, fashion and social work.”

Ms. Skyum:I have always been into fashion. I used to tell my mother what she had to sew for me. I have always seen my mother sewing during her time off and my grandmother too. Having been a witness of that, I will never forget that creative part of my life.

I was eager to see and learn. At 12, I started to take couture lessons. It was a very strong hobby for me but I never imagined I would make a lifestyle and a living of it.  My couture teacher told me that I was not looking for much help. As for my first creation, I had a clear idea that I wanted to create one of the most elaborate pieces: a coat.

I did my own clothes for every key moment of my life: my prom dress, my birthday outfits ….. then I was regularly stopped in Copenhagen’ streets by buyers who wanted to know who made it, and they wanted to put my creations in their boutiques. I did not study fashion but international business, focusing on emerging markets because it was interesting to me. In retrospect, I finally did what I have always wished: create clothing while helping others.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs?

Ms. Cachav and Ms. Skyum: “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. So determination & confidence in what you do is the key to success!​”


Entrepreneur Interviewed: Alicia Caputo, CEO, Avrio Analytics, LLC

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

Avrio

Ms. Caputo: “I’m the CEO and co-founder of Avrio Analytics. I bring business insights to a tech focused and AI driven technology. I have over a decade in sales and business development in very large, data oriented industries such as finance and health insurance.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs ?

Ms. Caputo: “My advice to entrepreneurs is if you have an idea and have tested market fit with something like “the mom test” make the jump and go for it. I’m a sports fan so this quote always resonates with me “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take;” Wayne Gretzky.”

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Entrepreneur Interviewed: María Agustina Ibañez, Co-founder, Evaluados

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

Women Entrepreneurs

Ms. Augustina Ibañez: “I’m an enthusiastic and optimistic woman; an admirer of new experiences! That’s why one of my biggest motivations is to encourage myself to do different things and learn from every experience.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs ?

Ms. Augustina Ibañez: “I invite them to be encouraged! It’s all I can say. I reached where I am today because I keep moving and I dared to do different things. I am only 21 years old,  but I proved myself and showed that if you propose things, you can get to what and where you want, however difficult it may be! So regardless of  if we are women…. the only thing that matters is your goals and how you manage to reach for them.”


Entrepreneur Interviewed: Jean Marie Johnson, CEO and Co-founder, MOJO Yoga

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

Ms. Johnson:  “I’m a gritty yogi, frothing surfer, technology lover, obsessive doggie mom, serendipitous entrepreneur, and persistent optimist.

MOJO Yoga

When I completed my degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, I had no idea how handy it would be for my future of creating and implementing the kind of outrageously ambitious world well-being ventures I work on today.

To date, I’m a registered yoga instructor with E-RYT500-level certification, the highest level currently certified by Yoga Alliance, the nation’s largest certifying body. I’ve worked hard to co-found and boot strap a few yoga and lifestyle business iterations along the way and have finally found my happy place with MOJO Yoga. I’m thrilled to bring my vision of personalized online yoga to a growing worldwide mob of students and teachers alike.

My ultimate vision is to make MOJO a hub for all the tools one might need to create and live a balanced, happy, fulfilled lifestyle.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs ?

Ms. Johnson: “Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Know that you can take on anyone and any task that comes your way. Don’t let any stodgy old men get you down. Play their game, but play it by your rules. Always attend to your vision and your mission, and let that guide your way. The landscape of your business might have to be fluid and flexible every day, but a strong mission will always keep you on track to your highest and best good. Know that you are truly special and valuable for the work you’re doing, that you’re an inspiration to all the girls who will follow in your footsteps, and your work will change our world!”

 

Entrepreneur Interviewed: Courtney Jones, Founder, MomSource Network

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

MomSource NetworkMs. Jones: “I’m a woman, a professional and a mom. All of those things are equally important to me yet professional women are continually punished for taking a break to prioritize their families.  In fact, a woman who takes a 2-3 year career break will sacrifice 30% of her potential lifetime earnings. That’s wildly unfair and I believe that MomSource Network will be the catalyst of change.”

Advice to women entrepreneurs ?

Ms. Jones: “Women are the more risk averse gender which is why there are so many fewer of us starting companies. If you have a great idea and the support system to build it—do it.  You can. I believe”.

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Tony Lettich

Tony Lettich has previous corporate venture capital experience and currently serves as Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable. He is a co-founder of FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.