Female Startup Entrepreneurs Who Broke Barriers

Female Startup Entrepreneurs Who Broke Barriers

13 July 2017


"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." —Margaret Thatcher


It's no secret that women are sometimes overlooked in the digital startup industry. Women are generalised to be homemakers and wives, but little do we know that some of the apps we use or services/products used in present time are founded and operated by women. According to CNBC, women now make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the United States, and the rate of women’s entrepreneurship rose by 13% by the year 2016.

With the increase regarding numbers, barriers and obstacles also get harder for women entrepreneurs, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses reported that only 3% of women-owned firms in the U.S. have a high economic impact. Not only that, many of these women still can’t find the funding they need. More than 72% of female entrepreneurs stated that the lack of access to capital was one of the hardest challenges they have to face, only 10% of venture capital went to women between 2010 and 2015. They overcame this gap by raising and kickstarting their capital via websites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Patreon. Other than capital and financial obstacles, women still have to face the additional sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. According to a survey by Vassallo and Madansky, 60% of women working in tech-related industries have reported sexual harassment while 90% have witnessed sexist behaviour both in the company or at work conferences. 

These numbers may have scared off some women, but a huge number persists in the industry, breaking barriers and creating a standard for women everywhere. Instead of focusing on the wrong part of the industry, they have proved that there is still hope for change. Some of them have transformed the game and rose to the top with their inventions, inspiring women everywhere with their grit and daring attitude. 

EV Hive presents some of them:


1. Hooi Ling Tan

Hooi Ling Tan is a co-founder of one of the most useful and successful Apps in the world. Grab has changed the face of personal commuting in South East Asia, people with high mobility now have an easier and safer choice for their daily transport. Despite competition from Uber and Go-Jek, Grab still stands as one of the strongest transportation company out there. Ling Tan co-founded Grab with Anthony Tan back in 2012 when they were still graduate students at Harvard. Grab, previously called GrabTaxi, has been downloaded onto 9 million mobile devices in 28 cities across six countries – including Indonesia. They have raised $700 Million thus far after five rounds of funding, and they have no intention to stop growing.


2. Huang Shao Ning

JobsCentral was a Singapore-based free job portal. Registered job seekers will be able to search for jobs from various companies, learn about jobs online and also to build resumes online. Founded in 2000 by Huang Shao Ning and Lim Der Shing, which later she marries. After 11 years, 3 million members and 20,000 employers using their channel, JobsCentral was acquired by a U.S. Based job portal called CareerBuilder for an undisclosed sum, though was rumoured to be the highest ever in Singapore's tech start-up scene. Shao Ning left her job at IBM to pursue a startup of her own, eventually creating the biggest job portal in Singapore.


3. Whitney Wolfe

An American entrepreneur, Whitney Wolfe is the co-founder of the oh-so-famous dating app – Tinder. She left Tinder to start a new dating app called Bumble which now has rated at the fourth most popular dating app. Wolfe was named one of the 30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Tech by Business Insider in 2014. She was also named one of Forbes' 30 under 30 this year. She started Bumble to give women more control in dating apps, making men unable to start off the conversation unless the woman initiates it first. Her net worth is currently at $250 million and increasing by the day. 


4. Chrisanti Indiana

Indiana co-started an online based make-up portal in 2014 called Sociolla. Sociolla was founded because she was concerned with the amount of beauty products being supplied that are not coming from official distributors. Not only does Sociolla provide an easier way for women to shop beauty products, they also provide a curated review of their products in their sub-brand BeautyJournal; An online blog with beauty articles, make up tutorials, spa destinations and everything women related. Sociolla is now one of the leading Indonesian e-commerces for make-up and beauty products.


5. Rashmi Sinha

Named No.8 on the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs by Fortune, Rashmi Sinha is the founder and CEO of the popular slide-sharing website SlideShare. With the help of her husband and older brother, she built the site in just six months. Since its launch, more than 9 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare, helping professionals connect through content. The site itself has been acquired by LinkedIn 2012 for over than $100 million, earning her the title "One of The World's Top 10 Women Influencers in Web 2.0" by Fast Company.


That was five business women that have changed the startup market and went through barriers that were set for them. All of them share the same vision, to empower women in the tech industry, thriving and striving to excel in the startup world. You can be one of them too with SheLovesTech 2017! The She Loves Tech Global Startup Competition is designed to give the world's most promising women entrepreneurs and women-impacting startups a unique opportunity to showcase their businesses to a global audience of investors and influencers from the tech community.

She Loves Tech Indonesia Final competition will be held on 6th of August 2017. Besides seeing the final, gain insights in joining the panel discussion about Women & Technology, and also a Networking Session to expand your startup.


Click here to register

See you there!


Category: startup, female entrepreneurs, business woman

About Author

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Tiffany Khosasih

A 21 year old marketing and startup enthusiast who loves putting words together for people to relate and learn.