Thursday, November 29, 2018

4 Early Women Entrepreneurs.

Gears, Cogs, Machine, Machinery If you look at history, you'll find several businesses started and owned by women, long before it became standard.  At the time, most of these women lived, women were expected to be wives, raise children, and be their husbands property. They were not expected to found businesses in a male dominated world.

They women braved societal views to do what they needed to.  Let's look at some of them.

1.  Eliza Lucas Pinckney was born in Antigua, grew up in London before her family moved to America where her father bought three plantations.  At the age of 16, Eliza took over running the plantations near Charles Town, South Carolina when her mother died and her father returned to the West Indies.  

She realized America had a growing textile industry so she began growing indigo to produce indigo dyes.  By 1739, she was successful and indigo dyes were second only to rice as exports.  In addition to introducing indigo, she introduces flax, hemp, silk and figs.  Although she died in 1793, she was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1989.

2.  Mary Katherine Goddard who was born in New London, Connecticut before moving to Providence, Rhode Island in 1762.  Four years later, she became America's first woman publisher.  Nine years later, she became the first female Postmaster in Baltimore, Maryland but she is most famous for being the person who printed the first copy of the Declaration of Independence with all the names of the signers.  

3. Lydia Pinkham took her herbal home remedies and in 187, created a business based on them.  Her "Pinham's Vegetable Compound" became one of the best selling patent medicines of the time.  Furthermore, as she marketed her compounds to women, she also educated them about health female health issues.  She crusaded for women's health at a time when the medical community paid little attention to the topic.  Her company was bought out in 1968 by Cooper Laboratories but you can still find pills and liquids with her name on them at some stores.

4. Madam C.J. Walker is well known for starting a successful business from nothing.  She was the daughter of two former slaves and orphaned at the age of 7.  Her first product, released in 1905, was a scalp conditioning and healing formula developed because she had a scalp ailment that caused her to loose all her hair.  Soon she expanded her business to South America and the Caribbean and became one of the first self-made millionaires. 

Furthermore, as her business expanded, she trained beauticians who sold her product and shared her philosophies within the African American community. In 1917, Madam C. J. Walker organized and ran the first national meeting for business women in Philadelphia.  Aside from founding the first African American hair products and cosmetics company, she also opened the way for women entrepreneurs.  

Each of these women broke a glass ceiling of the time by running a successful business at a time when few women could.  let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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