2021 was a historical year for women-led businesses as some went public in the year. The fact that cultural and social barriers could not stop women globally from making their dreams come true is itself a feat. Women have come a long way from learning the basics of businesses to believing in themselves to creating their own empires. From Falguni Nayar's unicorn Nykaa that went public in October 2021 to the IPO of dating app Bumble owned by Whitney Wolfe Herd, the year has given hopes of diminishing gender disparity. What's more? 2022 is the year to carry the legacy forward and bring the spotlight to potential women-owned businesses.
It is a giant leap from pondering whether women are equally paid for their work as men to them owning their businesses. But they deal with conversations they would not have had if they were men. So it is necessary to acknowledge women's hardships when they decide to scale businesses. Funding companies are not easily convinced to invest in women-owned businesses, making their job harder. But with women entrepreneurs booming worldwide, the game is changing. It is now time to take women-owned businesses seriously. Here is a peek into the growing companies that have scaled impressively or are on the verge of it.
Magnifying the importance of plants and aesthetics, this lifestyle brand sends peace vibes to your homes through home décor. Started by American entrepreneur and artist Justina Blakeney, the startup focuses on everything devoted to a connection with nature and the human senses. The décor items from plants to textiles to ceramics are brought to you by following sustainable practices. Their products are inspired by creative art and focus on getting a positive change in people's lifestyles.
In times when people have started investing better in cryptocurrencies, Nume Crypto bridges the payment gap by mediating cryptocurrency payments between buyers and merchants. It's an Indian startup by Niveda Harishankar and Madhumita Harishankar, who have respective backgrounds as UX designer and software engineer. They have closely worked with web-based product models, which provides them an edge in helping people find economical solutions through pay as you go technique. Theirs is a practical and exciting business idea to invest in among the rising demand for cryptocurrencies.
It is an Indian courier platform that provides logistic services(both within the country and abroad) to small and medium enterprises. iCarry has come a long way since it was founded in 2019 by Divya Kalra. Her exposure to one-stop digital platforms in the US encouraged her to start something similar in India concerning wellness products. Soon, she began ShopHealthy, which would inspire her to start iCarry. While her first venture was focused on holistic health products, iCarry is more diverse and caters to home-based entrepreneurs and delivers their products to the customers.
Wall art is one of the unique forms of art that not only creates a posh outlook but also requires thoughtful portrayal. Founded by Mariam Naficy in 2007, Minted provides a range of products and services by curating different designs and forms of art. From wall arts to furniture and interiors, they have an impressive store of beauty that you simply cannot stop appreciating. The diverse artistry, packaging, and reasonable rates also keep up with the demands of their products.
A platform for entrepreneurs to venture into their respective journeys and polish their skills with formal learning and certification, OpenGrowth Academy is a boon in the world of startups. Founded by Indian entrepreneur Akriti Verma, the academy has all resources and technology in place to collaborate leaders with passionate individuals. She intends to scale a business that not only focuses on an economically viable business idea to thrive on but also targets the youngsters who want to bring a positive change in the world. With a set of renowned advisors and a dedicated team (majority women), OpenGrowth Academy is one of the ventures to keep a watch on.
Ariel Kaye wanted to answer the need for comfort and luxury inside our homes. Her long exposure to advertising and working with brands made her see how she can bridge the gap by offering direct-to-consumer products and services for comfort and rest. The premium brand focuses on bedding, soft towels, robes, bath essentials, décor items, etc. Their clients also take their consultation in styling home interiors. Merging art with style and sustainability, Parachute is one of the leading women-owned businesses you must look out for in 2022.
Founded by Mumbai-based entrepreneurs Anusha Ramakrishnan and Anisha Dossa, Jiffy helps create financial awareness among the employees. The fintech company provides educational content for people to understand the complicacy of budgeting, investing, and tracking expenses. Through its insightful research and tools, Jiffy has already catered to more than 15000 employees from 15-20 companies in India. Financial wellness advice and better management of wealth are some of the crucial talks that must happen, and Jiffy, with its brilliant business model, thrives on it. It poses a challenge to other startups that we must look out for in 2022.
With a long career in marketing, Lauren Mendell started Hey Bartender to not push out the fun with family and friends amidst the pandemic. The brand creates a seamless virtual custom cocktail experience where world-class bartenders display their work from premiere bars. It also makes corporate happy session events more inclusive by hosting them and catering services. From restaurant consulting to training staff for cocktail making, Hey Bartender also delivers the favorite drinks to the doorsteps of its clients. Who said yummy drinks are reserved in premium bars only?
Co-founded by Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar, this ed-tech startup assists students by providing instant answers to their doubts. The digital platform scaled high in the pandemic, booming the number of questions to two million daily and in different Indian languages. Free courses to video lessons, this educational app is easy to download and use. It has already successfully raised Series A funding from Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital, and Omidyar Network India investors.
Women-owned businesses are on the rise, and there is no stopping it. The number of female founders in the Covid era has multiplied. Primitive assumptions about women are being silenced by record-breaking business ventures that have scaled without much support from people around. The support from women empowerment programs is also commendable. It is safe to say that even though the socio-cultural ecosystem is biased, women are leaving no stone unturned to break stereotypes. What a great time to be alive!
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A believer of good things and pursuer of diverse avocation, she is a fiction lover and a simple writer. Supriti has a number of professions to her list and she feels challenges are the only answers to failures.