In recent years, there has been a massive change in the tides for female entrepreneurs. According to a recent study by American Express Open, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 68% since 1997--1.5 times the national average.
With that amazing growth comes new ideas, increased job opportunities, and further steps toward equality for men and women in the workplace. We're excited to see how women are changing the game, and we want to share some of those stories with you.
Here are just a handful of female entrepreneurs you'll want to watch in 2015, as they continue to revolutionize their industries across the board.
Kate Matsudaira is an entrepreneur who's had more than her fair share of experience in the tech and startup realm. With leadership positions at Amazon, Microsoft, and Moz, she's been at the forefront of leading Internet agencies--and now she wants to help others get there too.
With popforms, Kate has designed a so-called middle ground between a cheap self-help book and an expensive personal life coach. They make personalized tools to empower entrepreneurs to be better.
It's technical leadership training without the exorbitant price tag, and it's sure to get a lot of attention from the growing community of aspiring entrepreneurs, just like Kate.
Jessica Mah is doing a special thing in the world of entrepreneurs and startups. She's created inDinero, innovative accounting software that essentially takes care of your entire back office.
For young companies trying to get off the ground, the biggest struggle is often making the money work--especially when you're trying to run the front end at the same time. inDinero makes all of that easier.
Jessica has been featured on Forbes' 30 under 30 list, and has grown inDinero into a 75-employee, multi-million dollar company.
In a world now dominated by Square and Apple Pay, Lisa Falzone is at the helm of Revel--an iPad POS system that's dominating in 1,200 retail stores across the country.
Topping multiple lists including Forbes' 30 under 30, Falzone is a force in the Silicon Valley startup realm. She has been able to raise $115M for Revel, and the company is only continuing to grow.
As the tablet POS world continues to expand, keep an eye out for Ms. Falzone and Revel to be big influencers. They're already in stores like Goodwill and Popeye's, and the success seems to indicate a trend toward this type of system in new places--from retail to grocery stores and beyond.
Recently featured in Fast Company, Adora Cheung is a force of productivity who's making home services more accessible. Her company, Homejoy, is a home cleaning service designed to be fast, reliable and safe.
In the world of online-delivery-anything, whether it's laundry, groceries or booze, Homejoy is a logical next step in the trend. Cheung has gained fast traction, with nearly $40M in funding since 2012.
It's clear to see when you check out Homejoy's Twitter: Cheung knows that she's a part of the online revolution, and she's happily charting her own path.
When she was named the Chief Founder in Residence for Google's 30Weeks back in September, it became clear that Vivian Rosenthal was something big. As the founder of the smartphone app Snaps, Vivian has her finger on the convergence between users and brands in a way that few do.
Snaps is designed to bring together user-generated content with corporate interaction. It's like taking the best of social media and blending brands right in. It's something few apps have been able to effectively pull off, and it could change the way companies interact with their customers online.
Dzana Homan--School of Rock
School of Rock was a small franchise that's now storming the country, and Dzana Homan is spearheading the charge. Homan is a lover of music and science, who emigrated from Bosnia in 1995 and held a job at NASA. Her resume is diverse to say the least.
Taking over as the School of Rock's CEO in 2014, Homan is hoping to use her love for working with children combined with a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit. Don't be surprised if it's the number one music lesson store in the country by the end of this year.
Joanna Weidenmiller is an innovator to say the least. Her company, 1-Page, has gained significant notoriety around Silicon Valley as the first company to go public--on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Rather than waiting to meet all of the qualifications of the NASDAQ, Weidenmiller's insatiable appetite for growth led her to the ingenious strategy of going public somewhere else. 1-Page's current market cap is over $100M.
As a Principal and Corporate Responsibility Leader of PwC, entrepreneur might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Shannon Schuyler. But it's her support of entrepreneurial women that has landed her the final spot on our list.
Ms. Schuyler has orchestrated a move by PwC Charitable Foundation to back Points of Light's Civic Accelerator--an initiative that helps get young women the help and funding they need to start a business.
It's this kind of belief in the power of up and coming female entrepreneurs that will make 2015 such a strong year for women in the business world. We're excited to see how each of these women will continue to innovate the entrepreneurial world as we know it.