6 successful women entrepreneurs: there’s no ‘small’ in small business

6 successful women entrepreneurs: there’s no ‘small’ in small business

Below is an article originally written by Jessica Leigh Lebos, Senior Storyteller & Writer at Kiva. Go to Kiva's Company Page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Entrepreneurship not only benefits the economy and makes for a more inclusive financial environment, it brings innovative, exciting—and often delicious!—possibilities to communities, cities, and industrial sectors.

These six women are achieving big things in the world of small business.

1. Authentic African prints make Veronica’s fashionwear unique

The fashion industry can be a challenging sector for an entrepreneur to break into, but Veronica has been able to make it work, even as the pandemic increased the difficulty. Offering bespoke designs made from authentic African prints, Veronica launched Melmikay’s a decade ago in the Boston, MA area.

COVID-19 negatively impacted her one-on-one business model of measuring and designing for each client, and she knew she had to produce on a bigger scale and move her business online in order to survive. With the capital from her zero interest Kiva loan, she increased production and upgraded her website and is now able to sell her unique designs all over the world.

2. Geetha brings vegetarian catering to Texas

Another Kiva loan helped Geetha take her vegetarian catering business to the next level. Born in Malaysia to an Indian family who did not eat meat, Geetha struggled to find healthy vegetarian fare to feed her own children. She began cooking her own vegetarian dishes for others while living in New Jersey and moved to Texas in 2019 to scale the business. She was able to purchase equipment to ferment her own tempeh, and these days Spoon & Sprout fulfills wholesale and dinner-sized orders all over the greater Houston area.

3. Claudia’s coffee roasting business also saves animals

Take Claudia, for example: She used a Kiva loan to expand her coffee-roasting business in Park City, UT that combines its mission of providing Fair Trade, organic coffee with rescuing animals. Claudia and Hugo Coffee now supply nearby resorts, grocery stores, and online shoppers with fresh-roasted coffee as well as supporting pet rescue organizations throughout the region.

4. Denise designs new realities in the tech industry

Though women and minorities tend to be woefully underrepresented in the tech industry, Denise has operated her own design agency since she graduated from high school and has evolved into web design, virtual reality, and UX/UI design spaces. To move $NP Designs forward, she used capital from a Kiva loan to expand her team and fund the agency’s 2022 Augmented Reality Show.

5. Patricia styles at the salon of her dreams

Patricia immigrated from Brazil to the U.S. when she was a child, settling in the New York area. She had worked as a hairstylist for 15 years and felt strongly that she could open her own luxury salon, if only she had the capital necessary to secure a space and buy equipment. She found it via a small business loan funded by 67 Kiva lenders, who helped her launch Rock Rock Salon, which has a busy roster of clients—not to mention editorial features in major magazines.

6. One loan started Terina’s bakery—a second helped it grow

Often entrepreneurs require additional capital to scale as their business grows. Baker Terina received her first Kiva loan in order to pay for licensing, uniforms, website, and other supplies for Cobblerworld, which supplies grocery stores and restaurants with mouth-watering desserts as well as serving them at a charming brick-in-mortar shop in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Demand for Terina’s treats has increased so much that she needed to hire another baker, and another loan helped cushion the expense. Now she’s able to keep up with more contracts as well as attend to her own non-profit venture.

Entrepreneurs make it work

Perhaps you have your own entrepreneurial dream? These 6 women made it work despite the challenges of receiving funding as a small business, and chances are if you’re passionate enough, you can too.

If you’d like to offer encouragement for another entrepreneur hoping to make it work, for as little as $25, you can contribute to funding the next entrepreneurial success story.

You may also like View more articles
The diversity of Latinidad

The diversity of Latinidad

October 19, 2023
Open jobs See all jobs
Cartoon image of a woman completing a diversity and inclusion survey for work

50 diversity & inclusion survey questions you need to ask

Diversity and inclusion survey questions are tricky. To get at the information you’re looking for, they can’t be too long, too numerous, too specific, too vague, or too repetitive. You need to create that Goldilocks-style “just right” kind of survey. Diversity and inclusion survey questions also need to be rooted in a larger data collection strategy that informs why, how, and how often you survey your employees. Too often, and responses drop off. Too infrequent and your data doesn’t reflect a proper sample.

Above all, you want to get at the heart of if and how your Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts are having an impact. Bear in mind that every organization’s environment is unique. Today, we’ll share sample diversity survey questions that work. Remember, modifications should be made as appropriate. To make things easy, we’ve also included a diversity and inclusion survey template to power your survey efforts from start-to-finish. Ready to get started?

Read MoreShow less
Thrive as an account manager at RTB House!

Thrive as an account manager at RTB House!

An account manager is at the heart of ensuring clients are successful. Watch the video to the end to learn how to join RTB House and thrive as an account manager!

Read MoreShow less
Photo of AbbVie's Daniela Toia, vice president of regional manufacturing in Europe, with quote saying, "It’s been a bit of a journey for me, building step by step the understanding that I could do very well in my career — and I could even push myself to do more than I ever thought was possible."

The 4 ways AbbVie’s Daniela Toia grew her career

And overcame self-doubt along the way

Daniela Toia always had big aspirations for her career. But with them came self-doubt.

“At the very beginning, I was unconsciously limiting myself in what I could achieve,” Daniela shares. “While I was aspiring to have a position in functions where I could have an impact, I could not see myself leading those functions.”

Read MoreShow less