What do you imagine when you hear that someone is an “entrepreneur”? Is she young or old? Are they male or female entrepreneurs? Educated or a college drop out? Risky or a visionary?  Personally, I imagine my great grandmother. A woman who walked door to door across Montana in the early 1920’s selling Fuller Brushes, creating a dairy farm during the great depression, and starting a small supermarket during retirement for no good reason other than she just couldn’t stop that entrepreneurial spirit.

Being an entrepreneur has nothing to do with age, ethnicity, or education. It has everything to do with seeing a problem and creating a solution better than the 20 other solutions that don’t quite get it right. It’s about creating the next best mousetrap. And about creating something that has never been done before. These are the people that create change, challenge the status quo, and drive the world in new directions.

Recently we have seen a growth in the number of female entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs make up about 40 percent of all new entrepreneurs in the United States. We see this growth and excitement not only in business but also in politics as there is a record number of women serving in the US House of Representatives. Over the past few years, we have published over a thousand of interviews with female entrepreneurs and would like to share ten that we think you should watch out for this year. Here are those ten women and one strategy that has helped them grow their business:

Jacquelyn Son and Clara Coelho

Jacquelyn Son and Clara Coelho – Founders of Glow Radio Podcast

Networking has brought us a lot of success. We started going to local networking events and asking for contacts from other entrepreneurs. By doing this, we had a good base to start inviting a guest onto our podcast to record together. Also, not being afraid to cold-contact businesses & influencers for collaboration opportunities helped us grow immensely.

Click here to read these female entrepreneur’s full interview.

Daniela Moreira

Daniela Moreira – Executive Chef of Timber Pizza Co and Call Your Mother

I place our businesses in residential neighborhoods. We are trying to build restaurants that can be around for generations — the heartbeat of the neighborhood. It is easy to open in high traffic areas and have this “buzzy” opening, but we are looking for long term sustainability.

Click here to read this entrepreneur’s full interview.

Jazmin Alvarez

Jazmin Alvarez – Founder of Pretty Well Beauty

I would say my events have really helped with my sales and brand awareness. Again these are opportunities to meet people you would otherwise not have the opportunity. Having that face to face personal interaction and not just being behind a brand is what helps me to stand out. Also, I’m extremely engaging and personable not only at my events but on social media. I give people my email address and tell them they can contact me any time for personal recommendations and I respond to everyone. What I’ve recognized from being a consumer first is that people don’t want to be treated like a customer or a number. They want to connect and I’m able to do this in a really authentic way. I don’t even call it a strategy because this is just who I am as a person so it comes naturally for me. It just so happens that this is what has become and will continue to be the vehicle that will drive success.

Click here to read this entrepreneur’s full interview.

Ximena Hartsock

Ximena Hartsock – Founder of Phone2Action

Listening to customer feedback. As a SaaS business, one of our key metrics is gross retention which means retaining the customer and the value of the customer’s contract. Happy customers stay and bring referrals so focusing on the customer has been our number one strategy to accelerate growth.

Click here to read this entrepreneur’s full interview.

monica weintraub
Monica Weintraub – Founder of Down to Donate

Down to Donate admittedly is about .01% of where I want it to be. What I do know is that people value transparency and feeling a connection to brands they love. I’d say storytelling and showcasing who we are as business owners are the best strategy to retain and get new customers. Hiding behind customer support and not being accessible to your users could be the downfall of any business.

Click here to read this entrepreneur’s full interview.

Lauren Mieli

Lauren Mieli – Creator of the Catnip Times and Meow MeetUp

One of my strategies is to focus on my brand, The Catnip Times, to deliver on the brand promise in everything I do. Whenever a new opportunity presents itself, I always ask “Is this in line with my brand? Is this something that will delight my customers or community and what they’ve come to expect?” If the answer is yes, then I’ll pursue. If the answer is no, I let it be.

Click here to read this entrepreneur’s full interview.

Farrah Miller

Farrah Miller – Founder of FM Wellness

Being authentic, hands down! I believe that being yourself and owning your actions are two of the best gifts you can give yourself. It all starts from the root of our psyche, and how we allow ourselves to feel in our subconscious is what we will bring out from others. My mission statement for my company involves how I live my life with those values and how I feel towards women’s rights, minority empowerment, and our respect in the world.

Click here to read this female entrepreneur’s full interview.

 female entrepreneur Vanessa Phillips

Vanessa Phillips – Founder of Feel Good Foods

Talk is cheap but in the best way! I will knock on any door in an effort to meet people who I can talk about my business with. By talking about my business with those who have been through it I have been afforded the opportunity to listen and learn. I have been told throughout my career by family and friends that I just “won’t shut up about her [my] business” and that in turn became a big strength.

Click here to read this female entrepreneur’s full interview.

female entrepreneur Ashley Marks

Ashley Marks – Founder and CEO of Life Proper

Trade – When I first started out I would give photographers a product in order to get high-quality professional images. It kept the cost down and I was able to secure editorial opportunities because I had high-quality imagery that was able to be used.

Click here to read this female entrepreneur’s full interview.

female entrepreneur Lindsey Smith

Lindsey Smith – Founder of Fashion Buddy App

Finding my motivation. As an entrepreneur, you are the only person pushing the business forward every day. There is no boss, teacher, or parent who is going to tell you to do your homework, and let me tell you, entrepreneurs have a lot of homework! It’s important to incorporate little pieces of motivation throughout the day to boost your mood and energy.

Click here to read this female entrepreneur’s full interview.