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Women’s Entrepreneurship Day: Celebrating Inspirational Women in Business

Every year on November 19th, female entrepreneurs are honoured and celebrated. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) organises this inspiring day which is recognised by the UN and countries all over the world. REFRAMD has hand-picked a few impressive women who will inspire you to get out there and conquer.

Melanie Perkins - Co-Founder and CEO of Design Platform Canva

Australian/Malaysian Melanie Perkins founded online design platform Canva in 2012 with the goal to make design more accessible. She found that many of the available design tools were unnecessarily tricky for the average user and decided to change that. The company is widely successful and recognized, being valued around $3.2 billion in 2019. But Canva was not Perkin’s first business venture. As a university student, Perkins, together with her now husband, launched a company called “Fusion Books''. The company is still active today and helps students put together yearbooks online in a simple manner. Perkins proves that starting early can be beneficial, because it will give you tools to succeed in the future, inspiring us to go after our dreams sooner rather than later.

Chantel Davis - Founder of Swimwear Brand Castamira

Former Wilhemina model, Chantel Davis, has plenty of experience with startups, but her brand Castamira was the one that really took off. Similar to REFRAMD, her company grew from personal struggles. The Jamaican entrepreneur found that she struggled to find swimwear of high quality that would enhance her curves in a comfortable manner. The solution? Castamira. The swimwear brand is inspired by nostalgia of the 70s and 90s, styles that show off a woman’s body in the most beautiful way. The products are the perfect blend between style and comfort. Davis shows us that there is not one single path ahead; you can be a model and an entrepreneur. We also love how she, just like the founders of REFRAMD,  found an issue in the world and works to redeem it. 

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw - Founder and Executive Chairperson of Biotech Companies Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited. 

Growing up, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw wanted to be a doctor but didn’t get into medical school. She didn’t let that turn her away from the medical industry. In 1979, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon Limited, which has grown to become India's largest listed biopharmaceutical firm by revenue. The company is committed to innovative and affordable therapeutics. Mazumdar-Shaw herself is not only a business woman, but very dedicated to giving back to society as well. She has developed her own philanthropic initiative, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, which aims to produce a cancer care model that is both sustainable and affordable. All her hard work has been recognised globally, earning her a spot on the list of Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. This power woman is a great inspiration in how she keeps giving back to the world, making it a better place with her knowledge and drive. 

KJ E. Miller and Amanda Johnson - Founders of Mented Cosmetics

Mented Cosmetics in another startup that grew from personal struggles. Harvard Business School graduates and friends KJ E. Miller and Amanda Johnson created Mented Cosmetics in 2017. As Black women, they found that it was challenging to find products that suited their skin tone, such as nude lipsticks in the correct shade. The name of the company “Mented” arised from the word “Pigmented” , which is what Miller and Johnson believed a lot of makeup articles were missing. Mented grew to become a company focusing on luxurious and high quality products with a range that is vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic and paraben-free. Their makeup is highly desired by women of colour and available at stores such as Target, Ulta and HSN. Let Miller and Johnson inspire you to not settle for things that are not right for you. You can be the change you wish to see in the world too.

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh - Founder and Executive Chairperson of 17 Ventures 

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh is an entrepreneur with range. She has not only started 17 Ventures, which is an investment and consulting firm specialising in Sustainable Development Goals and innovative finance in MENA, but she is also the founder of Landmark Hotels. In all her businesses, Nazzal-Batayneh has a social responsibility focus, working towards improving the world in different ways. It’s no surprise she was chosen as one of Forbes’ 200 Most Powerful Arab Women several times. This Global Young Leader is a motivation for people all over the world to work to improve the world through their businesses, making them more sustainable and inclusive. 

Let these impressive women inspire you to get out into the market and leave your mark on it. Whether you are into fashion, design, pharmaceuticals, investing or hospitality - the world is all yours to reimagine and to reframe.