More than 12 million companies in the U.S are majority-owned, operated, and controlled by women, according to the 2018 State of Women-owned Businesses report from American Express. That's 58% more than a decade ago.
Celebrities like Rihanna and Jessica Alba are great examples of how women can make it work on a massive scale. Each of them launched what became a successful business, and they did it by identifying a problem and then drawing on their personal experiences, and their passions, to come up with an innovative and exciting solution.
Creating makeup in shades to match all skin tones was Rihanna's mission when starting Fenty Beauty. The brand "was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races," according to the company's website. The goal was for "everyone to feel included."
The brand has had a tremendous impact on the beauty industry because of the wide range of shades offered. "I never could have anticipated the emotional connection that women are having with the products and the brand as a whole," Rihanna told Time magazine in 2017. "Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That's something I will never get over."
In 2017, Fenty reported $72 million in sales in just one month and about $570 million in sales in 2018.
While pregnant with her first daughter, the actress broke out in hives after washing baby clothes in a popular laundry detergent. Her negative experience inspired her business venture: "I wanted safe and effective consumer products that were beautifully designed, accessibly priced, and easy to get," Alba told Vanity Fair.
The Honest Company uses natural ingredients in its products and sells baby and household products including diapers, wipes, toothpaste, vitamins, and detergents. In 2015, just a few years after launch, it was valued at over $1 billion.
Celebrity entrepreneurs start with lots of advantages ordinary people don't, but there's a lot you can still learn from their and others' success when it comes to starting your own side hustle or building a business.
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