The numbers often look a bit grim when it comes to women in tech. But, here’s an optimistic statistic to end your week: women are founding companies at an accelerated rate, and today there are now more than 9 million women-owned businesses throughout the U.S. In fact, women owned businesses are cropping up 1.5 times faster than other types of small businesses! And the impact cascades to all: these businesses are expected to create more than 5 million employment opportunities by 2018.
So, who are the latest women making waves in the entrepreneurship world? Of course, there’s too many to count, but we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites. The best part about these entrepreneurs is that they’re all leading ventures that have a direct, positive impact for women.
We’ll be keeping an eye on these rock stars as 2018 rolls around.
Whitney Wolfe, founder and CEO, Bumble
Whitney Wolfe launched her dating app, Bumble, in an effort to make dating a heck of a lot less painful—and so much more equal. The app has gathered an astounding 18 million users, who have flocked to Wolfe’s platform where women get make the first move. Wolfe has said, “The time was ripe for disrupting the status quo. And the idea that men have to make the first move spans way beyond dating.”
Anna Auerbach, co-founder and co-CEO, Werk
Traditional work schedules are going by the wayside; these days, few people want to be stuck in an office from 9 to 5. This is the concept behind Werk, the platform Anna Auerbach and her co-founder believe is going to change the future of careers, and the notion of work-life balance, for women. The challenge: how do you keep intelligent, ambitious women in the workforce? Their solution: give them flexibility, and lots of it! Werk offers women a foot in the door at companies that are on-board with coveted flexibility.
Ida Tin, CEO, Clue
Women like to know what’s going on with their bods, especially good ‘ole Aunt Flow. Ida Tin is behind the period-tracking app, Clue, designed to track your period using science and a slew of data points. Investors initially shied away from investing—due to skepticism and flat out embarrassment at being involved in a chick period app. But the smart ones are coming out on top: Clue now has millions of users. (Turns out there’s nothing niche about periods; it’s big business!). Women count on Clue to track their period and help them conceive.
Kate Ryder, founder and CEO, Maven
There’s few things more annoying than getting the runaround from a doctor. Or making an appointment to see a doctor in person—when you just have a few questions you want answered. Shouldn’t it be easier? Kate Ryder, founder of Maven, thought so when she launched in 2014. Maven is a network of healthcare practitioners, and they’re standing by to answer your most awkward questions.
Stella Mateo, founder, SheTaxis
Stella Mateo created SheTaxis, taxi and car services exclusively for women, driven by women. Its purpose is two-fold: to empower women by providing jobs, and to also create a safe environment for women. The company kicked off in New York and will be expanding in the near future.