In 2023, Successful Women Entrepreneurs in the USA collectively generated an impressive $2.1 trillion in receipts, employing 10.5 million and paying $499.4 billion in annual payroll.
These figures underscore the increasing economic influence of women entrepreneurs. Despite challenges like limited access to capital and gender bias, these entrepreneurs exhibit remarkable resilience, innovation, and leadership.
Amid social unrest and economic uncertainty, they contribute not only to industry but also to social and environmental well-being.
In this blog, discover the inspiring stories of the top 5 successful women entrepreneurs in the USA. From diverse backgrounds and sectors, these women have built renowned brands, created social impact, and offered valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners alike.
1. Diane Hendricks
- Company founded: ABC Supply
- The foundation of the company: 1982
Diane Hendricks, born on a Wisconsin dairy farm in 1947, co-founded ABC Supply in 1982 with her roofer husband, Ken.
Initially a modest venture with one branch and three employees, the company expanded nationwide.
After an unfortunate demise of Ken in 2007, Diane took the reins as chairman and sole owner, propelling ABC Supply’s growth through strategic acquisitions like Bradco in 2010 and L&W Supply in 2016.
Under her leadership, the company embraced innovation, introducing a mobile app and a virtual reality simulator for contractors.
Diane diversified ABC Supply into various industries, from trucking to insurance, manufacturing, and recycling.
As of November 2023, she holds the title of the richest self-made woman in the US, boasting a net worth of $19.5 billion. Her influence extends globally, earning recognition from Time, Forbes, and Fortune.
Beyond her business acumen, Diane is a notable philanthropist, supporting causes such as education, health care, and the arts.
She attributes her success to hard work, passion, and vision, emphasizing the importance of learning from mistakes and perseverance.
Diane’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs centers on innovation, persistence, and a goal oriented mindset.
She urges ethical responsibility, generosity, and community engagement. Her mantra resonates with her journey: “the most important thing is to love what you do and do what you love.”
2. Judy Love
- Company founded: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
- The foundation of the company: 1964
Judy Love, a native of Oklahoma born in 1937, played a pivotal role in co-founding Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
Together with her husband Tom, they embarked on their entrepreneurial journey in 1964, initiating with a modest gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma. They have raided the capital of $5,000 loan from Tom’s parents.
In the early days of their venture, they initially named it Musket Corporation. Later iterations saw the evolution into Love’s Country Stores and ultimately settling on the present-day Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
Judy, at the helm of the company until 1975, temporarily stepped back to pursue a degree in interior design from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Today, the company is a family affair, owned by Judy and her four children. Sons Greg and Frank have assumed the roles of co-CEOs since 2014. Beyond ownership, Judy’s influence extends to the company’s expansion, acquisitions, and the cultivation of a distinctive corporate culture.
Outside the boardroom, Judy Love is renowned for her philanthropic endeavors. She channels her success into supporting causes close to her heart, spanning education to healthcare, thereby leaving an indelible mark on her home state of Oklahoma.
With a staggering net worth of $10.2 billion, she claims the title of the USA’s second-richest self-made woman, earning accolades from both Forbes and Fortune.
She identifies dedication, perseverance, and teamwork as the pillars of her success. Drawing wisdom from challenges and opportunities, she advocates for a mindset of constant improvement.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Judy imparts valuable advice: be passionate, flexible, and customer-centric.
By focusing the importance of vision, planning, and purpose, she encapsulates her philosophy with a simple yet profound mantra — “the most important thing is to love what you do and do what you love.”
3. Judy Faulkner
- Company founded: Epic Systems
- The foundation of the company: 1979
Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic Systems, began her journey in 1979 with $70,000, founding Human Services Computing.
After completing her graduation in mathematics and computer science, she coded the initial software on a Data General Eclipse 16-bit minicomputer, later renaming the company Epic Systems, now based in Verona, Wisconsin.
Faulkner has changed the face of the healthcare, providing electronic health records for 250 million patients, utilized by esteemed institutions like Johns Hopkins.
Notably she is also regarded as one of the influential changemaker. She integrated generative AI for patient responses and enhanced data analysis.
Also she have initiated a program connecting hospitals with clinical trials, she’s made a lasting impact.
Ranked the third-richest self-made woman in the US, her net worth is $7.4 billion as of November 2023.
Time and Forbes recognized her among the most influential globally, while Fortune listed her among America’s top business leaders.
Faulkner’s accolades include the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and induction into the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.
Her success mantra centers on innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction. Learning from mentors, she values feedback.
She always advises aspiring entrepreneurs to be creative, curious, courageous, ethical, responsible, and generous.
Committed to philanthropy, she signed the Giving Pledge in 2015, vowing to allocate 99% of her assets to charitable causes.
4. Lynda Resnick
- Company founded: The Wonderful Company
- The foundation of the company: 1979
Lynda Resnick, born in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland, ventured into entrepreneurship at 19, founding her own advertising agency.
In the 1960s, she met her husband, Stewart, and together they delved into diverse ventures, acquiring businesses like the Franklin Mint and Teleflora.
Their foray into agriculture began in 1979 with the purchase of a California orchard, expanding into pomegranates and later diversifying into products like POM Wonderful juice and Wonderful Pistachios.
Her impact on agriculture is marked by creative campaigns, like “Get Crackin” for pistachios and “Drink to Your Health” for POM Wonderful.
Moverover, her extends to sustainable farming practices, embracing methods such as drip irrigation and solar power.
As co-owners of Wonderful Co, the Resnicks oversee a $5 billion agricultural empire spanning various crops and brands, supporting over 10,000 employees across multiple locations.
With a net worth of $5.6 billion as of November 2023, Lynda Resnick ranks as the fourth-richest self-made woman in the USA.
Forbes and Fortune have recognized her among America’s Richest Self-Made Women and the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, respectively.
Also, her accolades include the Horatio Alger Award, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year.
Resnick attributes her success to passion, curiosity, and intuition, emphasizing the importance of learning from mentors and customers.
She encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to be authentic, original, and socially responsible. Alongside her husband, she has committed over $2 billion to charitable causes, reflecting a dedication to environmental and social initiatives, including climate change research, education, healthcare, and the arts.
5. Thai Lee
- Company founded: SHI International
- The foundation of the company: 1989
Born in Bangkok in 1958, Thai Lee’s journey to becoming a business powerhouse is a tale of resilience and adaptability.
Raised in South Korea, she later relocated to the US, where she pursued studies in biology and economics at Amherst College and earned a master’s degree in computer science from Harvard Business School.
Lee’s career trajectory took a significant turn in 1989 when she, along with her ex-husband, acquired SHI International, a software reseller, for less than $1 million.
Renamed Software House International, the company flourished under Lee’s leadership, evolving into the largest woman-owned business in the US.
Boasting a clientele that includes industry giants like Boeing, AT&T, and Microsoft, SHI International achieved a remarkable $14 billion in sales revenue in 2022, with a workforce exceeding 5,000.
Her commitment to innovation is evident in the company’s endeavors, from the establishment of a cloud marketplace to the creation of a customer innovation center.
Her influence extends beyond the business realm, earning her recognition as one of the world’s most powerful women.
With a net worth of $5.3 billion as of November 2023, Thai Lee is at the fifth place in the list of the successful women entrepreneurs in the USA.
Time magazine, Forbes, and Fortune have all acknowledged her impact, solidifying her status as a key player in global business.
Furthermore, based on her experiences of her life, she emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and adaptability in achieving success.
Acknowledging the role of mentors and customers in her growth, she advocates for humility, diligence, and a customer-centric approach for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Stressing the significance of ethics, loyalty, and collaboration, Lee affirms that building a strong team and fostering a positive culture are paramount in any entrepreneurial venture.
These remarkable individuals have not only triumphed over challenges but have also shared invaluable insights applicable to successful women entrepreneurs at any stage.
From breaking barriers to fostering innovation, their stories resonate with resilience and determination.
As we conclude, we encourage you to reflect on the lessons learned and share which entrepreneur resonated with you the most.
Their narratives not only celebrate individual success but also contribute to the broader conversation on gender equality in business.
Here’s to the limitless potential within each of us and the collective empowerment of aspiring entrepreneurs.
Also, let us know which of these successful women entrepreneurs have inspired you the most and why.