No two stories are the same when understanding the road to entrepreneurial success. Women quite often face unique experiences in an inherently complex system not built for female entrepreneurship. However, women are not the ones to stay behind that easily. Female CEOs in 2021 make up 8.1 per cent of the Fortune 500, and for the first time in history, not one but two Black women are part of the coveted list. While there is still a lot to be desired in terms of female representation at boardroom tables, there is marked progress in how women honour the victories of other women.
Despite the roadblocks that women face in business, the community of “fempreneurs” who support each other grows in strength. Whether you are the founder of a profitable business or still discovering your entrepreneurial talents, learning from diverse women who have walked the walk, and now can talk the talk, is sure to ignite a spark in you.
Entrepreneurship is not gender-specific, and every female CEO would agree. Below are the eight best business books for women entrepreneurs, written by fellow women entrepreneurs.
- Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington knows a thing or two about being an influential businesswoman. This passionate, call-to-arms memoir redefines what it means to be successful in today’s fast-paced world and suggests ways to avoid burnout in the pursuit of success. From launching an international empire to advocating for social change and becoming a millionaire, Huffington reflects on the challenges of managing work and family life. The profoundly personal book explains how to reach for the stars while remaining sane and avoid focusing on power and money.
- Girl On Fire by Cara Alwill Leyba
Bestselling author Cara Alwill Leyba strongly advocates for women’s empowerment in business, and her uplifting book does not fall short. Girl On Fire encourages women to stop asking permission and create the life they have always wanted, even if it makes others uncomfortable. As a woman and life coach mentor, Leyba challenges women to break business boundaries and defy the status quo. Are you waiting for your big break? Without delay, Girl On Fire will push you to publish your own material, book your own events, start your own podcast, and hire yourself.
- Beyond the Boys’ Club: Achieving Career Success as a Woman Working in a Male-Dominated Field by Suzanne Doyle-Morris
It is no revelation that men outnumber women in the boardroom. This reality can result in women feeling isolated and unheard. In her bestselling book, Dr. Suzanna Doyle-Morris – author, consultant, and public speaker – presents career strategies for women working in male-dominated industries and teaches women to break the glass ceiling. Both anecdotal experiences from the author and insights from senior women in world-leading organizations expose what it feels like to be a female entrepreneur. For every woman who has ever felt like the only woman in the room, Beyond the Boys’ Club is a place of solace.
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
The international bestselling novel Lean In paved the way for a global organization of the same name to be launched, providing a cross-border community for women looking to achieve their ambitions. Consistently named one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business since 2007, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg shares through her own experiences the small changes women can make to reach their full potential. Sandberg understands firsthand the difficulty of getting a seat at the table as a woman in business and feeling overpowered in a male-dominated industry. Lean In encourages women to speak up and make others listen to them.
- #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
In this New York Times bestselling tell-all, the sensational founder and executive chairman of the global fashion brand Nasty Gal (and self-proclaimed “girl boss”) Sophia Amoruso speaks to fellow female go-getters who wish to carve a unique path to success. Amoruso delves into her battles of self-doubt, narrating how she went from being a broke twenty-something to become the founder of a quarter-billion-dollar fashion empire of 400 employees. This classic rags-to-riches story has been called the “Lean In for misfits” by the Washington Post. The neologism that led to the Netflix series, GirlBoss, speaks to women who may wish to take the entrepreneurial road less travelled.
- Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran
Popularly known as the firecracker on the panel of investors on the ABC series Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, with co-author Bruce Littlefield, recalls her not-so-smooth journey to success in this inspiring book. After 22 failed jobs, Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her waitressing job, and used the money to start a small real estate business in New York. Corcoran shares her unconventional approach to business, provides insights on the connection between failure and character-growth, and narrates how she ultimately found success.
- The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
Successfully placing herself in Forbes 30 under 30, award-winning British author-podcaster Emma Gannon wrote The Multi-Hyphen Method as a manifesto for those distressed employees feeling overworked in a nine-to-five job. Gannon’s 2021 bestselling book for female entrepreneurs inspires readers to redefine success on their own terms by coaching women to work less and create more. The Multi-Hyphen Method dives into how technology is changing the ways entrepreneurs do business and exhorts forgetting outdated beliefs surrounding side-hustles.
- The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
In this informative and exciting guide to understanding the importance of confidence in all aspects of life, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share everything women need to know about business. Kay and Shipman conduct thorough research into what existing scientific research says about individuals’ personal levels of confidence. Featuring insights from interviews with top psychologists and successful female leaders, this book provides women with honest advice to help skyrocket their careers. The Confidence Code reinforces the idea that the most profound ability a woman in business can possess is confidence in her own capacities.Brooke Parker | Contributing Writer