Last Updated on March 2, 2023
The number of female entrepreneurs launching successful businesses is on the rise. Most noteworthy is the increasing number of female entrepreneurs who are also immigrants.
A new study from the New American Economy revealed that 45% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. This equates to 223 companies, of which 101 were started by foreign nationals. More so, the children of immigrants started another 122 Fortune 500 companies.
Here are the stories of three female entrepreneurs making a difference with their companies.
Introducing three female entrepreneurs with roots in Columbia, Pakistan and Korea:
Mirza is the CEO and co-founder of Akorbi and was born in Columbia. Akorbi helps companies connect with customers, vendors and employees from any location in over 170 languages. Some of Akorbi’s solutions include multilingual staffing, interpretation, multilingual contact centers and more.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National council recognized Mirza as a Women’s Business Enterprise Star in 2018.
Under Mirza’s leadership, the Women Presidents’ Organization recognized Akorbi as the 13th fastest growing woman-owned company.
Born in Pakistan, Aneela Zaib is the founder and CEO of emergiTEL, an IT and telecommunications recruitment company. Zaib founded the company in 2006. Since then, emergiTEL has grown to a Tier 1 staffing partner to some of Canada’s top telecommunications and management companies.
Zaib reinvented the process of traditional recruiting in IT by creating a 3D qualification system that screens candidates for cultural fit, technical competencies and soft skills. According to Catalyst Canada, this 3D qualification system has resulted in long-term success and a successful process for employers and employees.
Additionally, Zaib has focused on ensuring equal representation for women in leadership positions. Zaib’s senior leadership team is approximately 75% women, while emergiTEL’s internal employee population is 55% women. As such, Catalyst Canada honored Zaib for leadership and innovation in 2018.
Originally from Korea, Mina Yoo moved to the U.S. in 1991 and is the CEO of Heroclip. Her company produces clip hooks that can be used for just about anything: outdoor climbing, hunting, fishing, travel and military uses—you name it.
Yoo developed the idea of Heroclip in 2015 while she was training to summit Mount Rainier. Afterward, with that idea, she reached out to designers to create Heroclip, which would go on to become a resounding success on Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
Prior to her role as CEO of Heroclip, Yoo attended Brown University, and she then earned in a dual Ph.D. in sociology and businesses from the University of Michigan.
These three women represent only a fraction of the successful female entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad. For more insights on some of the most prominent immigrant entrepreneurs, head to the Envoy INSIGHTS blog.