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Six Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs to Look Out For

Womens Day 2024 01

Words Steph WadeDate 07 March 2024

In recent years, International Women’s Day has evolved into a powerful global event to honor and amplify the voices of remarkable women—while also highlighting the progress still needed to continue toward gender equality.

Of course, women have always been fierce entrepreneurs, but formal recognition for opportunities only expanded after the feminist movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries laid the groundwork for women’s economic empowerment.

In celebration of women’s achievements, we’ve collated a short list of inspiring women who are shaping our modern world, working across cultures, identities, and mediums.

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Ceiling detail of Hikma, a religious and secular complex in Dandaji, Niger

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Mariam Issoufou

atelier masōmī Niamey

The mission of atelier masōmī, founded by Nigerien architect Mariam Issoufou, is to create sustainable architecture rooted in Niger’s cultural heritage, addressing social and environmental challenges. Through its innovative designs, the studio is contributing to the development and well-being of communities. Two such projects: “Niamey 2000” in Niger’s capital, transformed a flood-prone area into a resilient urban space with sustainable housing and public facilities; and Dandaji Market, a vibrant and functional marketplace enhancing local commerce and community engagement.

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Issoufou is one of the most sought after architects in Africa

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Recycled colorful metal canopies shade the Dandaji market in Niger

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The architect draws on local wealth of knowledge, developing it into a contemporary force

Rosh Mahtani

Alighieri Jewellery London

Rosh Mahtani, founder of Alighieri Jewellery, has made a transformative journey from literature to jewelry design. Her commitment to craftsmanship, storytelling, and empowering women through meaningful, artisanal pieces has positioned her as a creative force in the jewelry industry.

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Mahtani in her London studio

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Her brand Alighieri is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s story

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The modern heirlooms celebrate the beauty of imperfection

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Bonnie Langedijk

HURS London

Bonnie Langedijk, Dutch entrepreneur and founder of HURS—a media platform dedicated to women and their stories—is one of the world’s leaders challenging the representation of women in the media. Through her creative work and the empowering platform she has established, Langedijk is championing spaces for women to connect, share, and inspire one another.

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In Paris, a HURS evening connecting leading women

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Langedijk’s ambition is to change women’s media landscape

Rosanna Hu

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office Shanghai

Rosanna Hu, co-founder of Neri&Hu, has a pivotal role in shaping Shanghai’s architectural and design landscape. From hospitality and retail spaces to full master plans and cultural centers, Hu’s dedication to bridging cultural heritage and modern design principles makes her a trailblazer in the field, influencing the way we experience and interact with urban environments.

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Hu has profoundly transformed Shanghai’s design culture over the past 20 years

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The project offers a clear contrast between the past and the present

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Lao Ding Feng concept store’s design is inspired by the product—traditional Chinese pastries



Willow Defebaugh

Atmos Magazine New York

Willow Defebaugh, climate activist, co-founder, and editor-in-chief of Atmos Magazine, has utilized her beautiful storytelling and innovative content over the years to engage people in urgent conversations about climate change. Defebaugh’s ability to imbue all of her writing with hope makes her a compelling force to inspire others to take action for a sustainable and resilient future.

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Defebaugh just published her debut book: The Overview: Meditations on Nature for a World in Transition

Licheng Ling

Homeism Shanghai & New York City

Licheng Ling, founder and creative director of the label Homeism, spends her time between New York and Shanghai. Homeism aims to redefine modern living for women, with elegant loungewear providing comfort, taste, and beauty. Prior to Homeism, Ling worked as fashion editor of InStyle China. She is also a creative consultant for fashion houses, lifestyle brands, and art organizations.

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Ling got her fashion degree at Parsons

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She divides her time between her label and consulting luxury brands

Mariam Issoufou’s images courtesy atelier masōmī
Hikma images James Wang
Dandaji market image Maurice Ascani
Rosh Mahtani’s images courtesy Rosh Mahtani
Bonnie Langedijk’s images Sandra Semburg
Homeism’s image Kimisa H

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