Female entrepreneurs make up an increasingly important segment of the small business community. According to recent statistics from the National Women's Business Council, more than 36% of businesses in the U.S. are women-owned. Entrepreneurs are launching everything from solopreneur careers to tech startups and retail companies. They're ambitious, they're inspiring, and they offer a great perspective if you're interested in learning more about starting your own company – or what the day-to-day life of a business owner looks like. Here are six influential woman entrepreneurs you may want to check out:
Sheila Lirio Marcelo: Founder of Care.com, a platform that connects consumers with caretakers of all varieties from childcare to pet sitters, Marcelo has received extensive honors and graduated from Harvard Business School. She shares her thoughts on women's entrepreneurship, the business world, and her industry via social media @smarcelo.
Rashmi Sinha: Co-founder of the technology platform Slideshare, which allows users to post documents and presentations online. After earning a PhD at Brown University, Sinha decided to leave academia for the startup world. While she's since moved on from the company that was acquired by LinkedIn, she regularly shares her thoughts on marketing, social media, and the entrepreneurial life via Twitter at @rashmi.
Carolyn Rodz: Founder of Circular Board, a company that helps women think bigger about launching companies. Recently named to Entrepreneur's Women to Watch list, her work focuses on creating cohorts of women entrepreneurs that receive access to a circle of advisors to grow their businesses during the critical early stages. Carolyn's work and thoughts can be found on Twitter @carolynrodz.
Sara Blakely: Entrepreneur Sara Blakely is the founder of women's apparel company Spanx, and America's youngest self-made billionaire. After working to create a solution to a fashion challenge she was facing herself, she productized the solution and created a brand that would become a household name. Today, Blakely's thoughts can be found online via Twitter @Spanx.
Beyonce: Singer and songwriter Beyonce is known primarily as a megastar entertainer, but she's also a savvy businesswoman. She has launched multiple brands and continues to push the boundaries of what's possible in her business. An avid investor, her new Athleisure line launched earlier this year.
Gina Bianchini: A serial tech entrepreneur, Bianchini is currently the founder and CEO of Mightybell, a software platform that allows companies and organizations to start their own businesses. Previously, she co-founded Ning. She can be found on Twitter @Ginab
These are just a few of the inspiring women entrepreneurs who are launching companies, transforming industries, and sharing their experiences along the way. It's impossible to highlight all the thought leaders and business leaders across industries—but these are just a few to get you thinking about your own entrepreneurial venture.