By Rieva Lesonsky
As someone who has long championed the cause of women entrepreneurs, I always assess “power lists” of women in business with interest. Forbes.com, in partnership with American Express, just came out with a slideshow of the 10 most powerful women entrepreneurs.
I saw some names I knew, and some that were new to me—but many familiar entrepreneurial stories. All of the women on this list started their businesses for different reasons. Some, like Michelle Jones, founder of Entech Northwest, did so out of necessity; Jones started her environmental consulting firm after being laid off from a similar company. Others, like Lisa Loscalzo, saw an unmet need: Loscalzo saw families waiting for health care and nurses being underutilized, so she brought the two together with The Little Clinic, a company that provides walk-in health clinics at grocery stores.
From a solar power company to a company that matches people with senior care-givers, many of these companies are in hot industries. But you don’t have to be “trendy” to succeed, as Susan Wilson, founder of The Judgment Group, points out. “I used to get bored and wanted to do the next great thing. And I still do,” says Wilson, whose company helps collect court-ordered judgments for clients. “But, the mundane, same-day, in-and-out stuff–if you can find that sexy, that’s how you build a business.”
Many of the women profiled faced naysayers or disrespect—but they didn’t give up. Check out their stories and you’re sure to be inspired.