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  • Writer's pictureEnterprise Orchard

10 inspirational start-up successes by female entrepreneurs

As founders, we know you can often feel overwhelmed with advice, you’re trying to stay afloat, working hard, facing obstacles, and stressing about reaching your targets. Many people doubt entrepreneurs, I’m sure you’ve heard discouraging ‘advice’ from unsupportive people who feel they need to tell you how hard it is to start and run your own business. And although there are challenges, there are also incredible success stories. In this post, we want to share some encouraging stories to provide you with inspiration. Whatever the hurdles you’re facing, these women have probably faced them too. The courage you took to start your own venture is enough to show you can end up like many of these extremely successful female entrepreneurs too.

Melanie Perkins: Canva The incredibly successful web-based platform, co-founded by Melaine Perkins in 2013, now has over 55 million monthly active users. Melanie is now the CEO of Canva, which is estimated to be valued at $6 billion. The design app is an extremely useful tool recommended and used by many industry professionals today. The app allows graphic design to become extremely simple, easy and fun to use amongst other start-ups founders too.

Qandeel Zafar: nah – One of our own start-up customers nah was inspired by a personal mission in the founder's own life. After searching for a product to help her mother’s blood pressure, Qandeel discovered a real, whole food with healing and preventative properties with benefits backed up by science. Qandeel is now the successful managing director of nah, a company on a mission to bring the world’s most effective natural supplements, backed by scientific research, for a longer, happier and healthier life. Anne Wojcicki: 23andMe

Anne co-founded 23andme in 2006, a human genome research company specialising in biotechnology. It allows consumers to dive into their DNA, breaking down ancestry and revealing how genetics can affect health and traits with over 26 million users. In 2020, she was listed in Forbes as one of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women and after making a deal With Sir Richard Branson, Forbes named Anne as the Newest Self-Made Billionaire of 2021.

Banasa Williams: Ksoni - One of our own start-up customers Banasa is the co-founder of the successful body care brand Ksoni, a brand designed to extend the eco-mindset into the bathroom through its range of natural products in plastic-free packaging. After achieving great results in marketing roles for health & wellness businesses throughout Banasa’s career, the growing number of consumers who wanted to purchase eco-friendly products options for their diverse bodies and sustainable lifestyles was clear, from there Ksoni was born.

Reshma Saujani: Girls who code

Reshma founded a highly successful platform to inspire young women with the knowledge and skills to pursue computer science-based opportunities. The company, which has investments from Uber and many other major names, provides the resources for women to learn robotics, web design and other high-tech jobs to encourage more women to enter the field. Reshma, has appeared in the New York Times Bestseller list and has sparked conversation as she questions huge companies like Google with issues about the gender pay gap while paving the way for other women to enter the big tech industry.

Stacy Munro: Myrror - One of our own start-up customers Stacy co-founded the Myrror app, a safe and personalised beauty space for anyone to experiment and be expressive without the fear of judgement. Myrror was inspired by Stacy’s own experiences with beauty and aesthetics, after searching for the perfect solution for balancing treatment exploration with confidence and control, the founders decided to build it themselves creating a fun and welcoming space for many users today.

Anne Boden: Starling Bank

Anne is the first woman in the UK to have found a bank of which has over 2 million accounts in just 4 years. Starling makes the process of banking a lot less complex focusing on current and business account products. The award-winning bank has skyrocketing performance results in a very little amount of time.

Mandy Bowman: Official Black Wall Street

Mandy is the founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, an app that helps consumers find and support Black-owned businesses through a digital platform and global Black business directory. The app saw more than 200,000 new members join to help the effect the pandemic has had on Black communities. the platform has placed Bowman at the forefront of the #BuyBlack movement as the business has grown sevenfold between just 2019 and 2020.

Iman Abuzeid: Incredible Health

Iman noticed an inefficiency in the staffing of nurses after becoming a doctor. She then co-founded Incredible Health in 2017, a platform that makes the hiring of nurses to be three to four times faster. Iman has now raised $17 million in just two years for her business and built an inclusive staff of 30. Iman was inspired by two generations of entrepreneurs in her family and after working for a couple of other start-ups in the healthcare space, she decided to build her own and has very much succeeded doing so.

Ella Mills: deliciously ella

Ella Mills, a British foodie, has become one of the biggest names in the plant-based eating world today. After starting her food blog back in 2012, Ella grew her business into a deli and later released recipe books, podcasts and even an app sharing all things food. At the age of just 25, Ella has nearly a million Instagram followers, a blog with over 100 million visitors and a brand now worth over £2.5 million.

Here at Enterprise Orchard we are constantly advising and supporting start-ups and small businesses.

If you are trying to grow your business and need advice, join our peer learning programme. The Engine Room is a community where you can talk to like-minded business owners to discuss concerns, achievements, and everyday business antics.

It provides expert guidance through weekly Zoom sessions in small close-knit groups of 6. The sessions include expert-led masterclasses delivered every 3 weeks by our wonderful partners. This is your chance to be part of an engaged community of founders, delivering business growth and community. To find out more please visit


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