Where Are The Riot Grrls?

Get Your Ego Out

And still, it's a puzzle. There's no shortage of young women starting businesses. And no shortage of success stories, either. But when you roam the popular consciousness, it's all about young entrepreneurial guys. "I'll celebrate the day when 38 percent of the business owners interviewed for every article are women," says Sharon Hadary, executive director of NFWBO. "That would be an accurate representation of reality." Yet, apparently, this remains an elusive goal.

If, indeed, it is a goal at all. "I don't want to become an icon," says Brenda Do. "It's not my goal to have my face on a magazine cover. This is not about the accolades."

Nor is it all about money. White, whose ad agency has already begun the sprint from $5 million to $10 million in annual billings, isn't interested in the unbridled pursuit of growth. She is interested in doing a good job. "When I can make a difference in my clients' businesses, then I know I've accomplished something," she says. "In fact, as my clients grow, I have no choice but to grow."

Meanwhile, White is determined to maintain some perspective. Yes, she has a thriving business, but she also has a life. And a family--a husband and three school-age children. Success for her is measured not by the ascending line of upward sales, but by an ever-widening circle of gains and triumphs. "I'm just as proud of being part of the volunteer program at my children's school as I am of anything I've done in business," she says. "That's an accomplishment, too."

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Where Are The Riot Grrls?.

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