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How This Entrepreneur Went Global Without VC Funding The founder of Luminary shares why she wanted to control her own destiny and her advice for women who want to build their own sustainable and profitable business.

By Jessica Abo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cate Luzio is the founder and CEO of Luminary, a global professional education and networking platform focused on women across all professional journeys. "We are gender inclusive and our goal is to advance women in the workforce regardless of that professional journey." That includes women in transition, women in entrepreneurship, women climbing the traditional corporate ladder or women in government and nonprofits, she says. "We create education, learning and development, as well connections and community to support those journeys."

When it came time to launch Luminary, Luzio decided to self-fund. She built a successful career in corporate investment banking, saved money for over 20-plus years, and was determined to control her own destiny. "I had the privilege to self-fund the business, and I know not everyone has that privilege; but, I think you should think long and hard about how you are going to build, grow and scale. The path to investors and external capital isn't just one way. There are many financial instruments out there that can help a small business owner grow."

Luzio sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about who should consider self-funding and the three things women need to build a sustainable and profitable business. Watch the video above for the full interview.

Jessica Abo

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Media Trainer, Keynote Speaker, and Author

Jessica Abo is a sought-after media trainer, award-winning journalist and best-selling author. Her client roster includes medical and legal experts, entrepreneurs, small business owners, startup founders, C-Suite executives, coaches, celebrities and philanthropists. Visit

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