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4 Female Entrepreneurs Share the Visions That Helped Make Them Successful Looking for female role models in business? Learn about these four women.

By Matt Sweetwood

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a business is like starting a new diet. The hardest parts of this journey are getting the courage to begin and understanding what is the plan that is most likely to succeed.

You have an innovative idea that will improve the world, and the thousand new things you must learn about running a business are enough to make your head spin. A great way to start your new business is to find a mentor and reach out to them for advice.

With the number of women-owned business growing 2.5 times faster than the national average, and with 114 percent more women-owned businesses in the U.S. than 20 years ago, we now have many successful female entrepreneurs who can serve as role models and mentors for future generations.

Here are four highly successful female entrepreneurs who can be role models for you.

Sabah Al-Haidous

CEO of Silatech Foundation

Sabah Ismail Al-Haidous is the CEO of the Silatech Foundation, an organization that is leading an education innovative for young women in Qatar and surrounding regions.

When Al-Haidous started out, the best way to promote Silatech's mission was to work with local governments -- or at least, it seemed that way. She learned quickly how that wasn't always the case and that she needed to be more flexible.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Al-Haidous explained, "We shifted our strategy at Silatech away from a heavy reliance on governments towards a greater variety of partnerships with other NGOs and the private sector. We've also increased our reliance on technology, which helps overcome physical barriers."

In addition to finding new ways to promote her business, Al-Haidous regularly attends and speaks at conferences and workshops. Al-Haidous shows all aspiring entrepreneurs that to make a name for yourself, you need to be proactive and open to change.

Marie Forleo

Writer, digital entrepreneur and philanthropist

After several failed attempts at starting a business, Marie Forleo found her niche in the coaching industry. Slowly, she started to gain momentum until she caught the attention of Oprah, who named her as one of the thought leaders of the next generation. Her TV show, MarieTV, airs weekly and is the perfect resource for female entrepreneurs to utilize.

Forleo advises entrepreneurs to be optimistic. "I believe that no matter what your dreams or obstacles, you have the power to change your life and, by doing so, you'll change the world." Her story of how she became a business owner proves that it is possible for anyone to create a six or seven figure business.

Shelia Lirio Marcelo

Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of is the go-to business for parents looking for a babysitter so they can go and enjoy a night out on the town. The idea of came from Shelia Lirio Marcelo's own challenges of finding affordable childcare as a working mother. launched in 2006, and now serves more than 27 million people across 20 countries.

Recently, expanded into other housekeeping services such as maid service, pet caregivers, and senior care. Marcelo recognizes that she couldn't have done it all on her own. In an interview with the The New York Times, she speaks about how to create leaders so that you don't have to manage an entire business all at once. She says, "I think it's learning the different styles that people have, and harnessing their strengths, and how they get motivated and what inspires them to get stuff done."

Creating leaders within an organization is one-way Marcelo suggests is vital for success when you are expanding your business.

Jayamala Subramaniam

CEO of Arghyam

Due to the over-extraction of groundwater, water tables are drying out. This water crisis deeply impacts heavily populated countries like India who depend on groundwater, especially when it comes to watering their crops.

Subramaniam founded Arghyam in 2005 aimed at helping to solve this pressing issue. The challenge of starting and scaling a nonprofit organization makes her a highly regarded figure. Subramaniam said in an interview, "No profit-oriented startups will work in reviving traditional water harvesting models. It is not easily commercialized as the poor won't be able to pay for it. This is a conundrum that is tough to break for scalable technological solutions to come."

Figuring out how to approach large communities across India to care about an issue that impacts them all didn't deter Subramaniam. Subramaniam is one entrepreneur to admire and emulate to when facing business challenges of any proportion.

These four women are improving the world through entrepreneurship. The history of how they began should be relatable to all entrepreneurs. Their success and inspiration are motivational for anyone looking to make their business a big success too.

Matt Sweetwood

Marketing & Business Consultant • Speaker • Author • Social Media & Photography Expert • The Man-Up Project

Matt Sweetwood has experienced professional and personal success as an award-winning marketer and CMO club member and as president of Unique Photo through his reinvention of the modern camera superstore, by far his greatest achievement is having raised five children alone to adulthood. The journey through 19 years of single fatherhood and the battles he’s fought after his wife’s personality disorder turned violent have given Sweetwood a viewpoint of what is truly possible in life. He has gained unplanned expertise in a range of single parenting and custody issues and the legal, social, academic and institutional prejudices against men who are single parents. Sweetwood is currently writing his first book, Man Up.

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