‘Embrace the inner entrepreneur in you’ – 125 inspiring quotes on women and entrepreneurship in 2016


From yet another year of outstanding coverage in 2016, we present to you 125 memorable quotes from women entrepreneurs, business leaders and social activists. See our earlier compilations from 2014 and 2015 as well.

Cutting across all generations, these 125 quotes cover the unique strengths and skills of women as well as the severe challenges and discrimination they still face, particularly in India. The gamechangers in this compilation span a wide sector, from business and government to the education and social sector.

Every story has a punchline or message, and we hope these quotes and linked stories inspire you as well to even greater heights of excellence. YourStory wishes our readers all the best for the holiday season and a terrific, successful and creative year ahead in 2017!

Ability should only be judged on the basis of qualification and not gender. - Harshini Kanhekar, Fire Services

Women all over the world are redefining the way they are treated, and the way the world looks at them. - Namrata Purohit, Pilates Studio

If India educated 1 percent more girls well, its GDP would increase by $5.5 billion! – USAID report

Do women become less ambitious with time? Or is there an unconscious bias which creeps in, resulting in fewer women getting HR leadership roles? - Supriya Goswami, InMobi

We can’t teach morality, only inspire it. - Premi Mathew, ‘Protect Your Mom’

Both acting and charity keep me going. Through one I make money and the other I spend all the money! - Evelyn Sharma, Seams for Dreams

There is a strong need to create equal opportunities for all, particularly women, who are key contributors in the Indian job market. - Sanjay Modi, Monster India

In India, the culture has to change in terms of weaving a support system around women. - Sunita Maheshwari, Teleradiology Solutions

In the Indian context, safety of women employees needs to be implemented along with giving them a voice to voice their concerns. - Kanika Tekriwal, JetSetGo

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed. – Martina Navratilova

There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. - Sheryl Sandberg, author

Networking isn’t just an art, it’s hard work. But remember, every contact you build makes it easier for you to compete. - Tina Garg, Pink Lemonade

When there is a strong focus on your goal, nothing can stop you. - Purnima Devi Burman, biologist

It’s a roller coaster ride, enjoy it. Keep your balance even on one leg. You won’t tip, but if you do, get up. – Anu Acharya, MapMyGenome

Men who advocate for themselves are often rewarded for their confidence while women who take the same approach can be penalized by their superiors. - Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

In our society, people think dark colour is not good. People doubt dark skin. - Jaya P. S., activist

People don’t understand that sexuality is not simply what we do in our bedrooms. - Sonali Gulati, filmmaker

Embrace the inner entrepreneur in you and give it your best. - Tina Garg, Pink Lemonade

I believe it is always better to have a team of mom-preneurs running an enterprise than one. - Anjali Gulati, Back To The Front

Life is all about believing that good things will come your way. It is about keeping up the fighting spirit and facing all odds valiantly. - Geeta Tandon, stuntwoman

You're not one label. You’re a million labels and a million different experiences. - Caroline Casey, The Ability Awards

I asked every stupid question in the book, because that is the only way to learn. - Meena Kapoor, OyeHelp

The more open you are to ideas and conversations, the easier it gets for you to get a hold of success. - Prachi Garg, ‘Superwomen’

Think big, start small, act now. - Arpita Khadria, Signtist

When you do things that excite you most, you will go places. Then work will no longer be work, it will be life. - Srividhya Srinivasan, Amagi

The increasing list of women entrepreneurs is bringing the confidence to aspiring women as well as to the entire system. - Garima Tripathi, Care24

Maintain a work-life balance hasn’t come easy. Saying goodbye to my son when he says ‘Mamma don’t leave me…’ still breaks my heart. – Aditi Jussawalla, MotherHen

It’s time to embrace our personal ‘Goddess Kali’, thrive and flourish. – Cheelu Chandran, DeBox

We are strong, yet we are vulnerable. That’s the beauty of women. – Priya Varadarajan, Durga

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken towards its achievement. - Ankita Shroff, SAV Chemicals

All through your life, look at life as a ladder and reach for the stars. But reach back and help someone else make it to the next rung, especially other women. - Elsa Marie D’Silva, Safecity

The reality is that it is only a ‘gap’ if you feel and believe it is a gap. - Supriya Goswami, InMobi

Women in general tend to credit their success to anything but themselves. Have confidence in your ability and courage. - Som Singh, investor

Women need to learn to take credit and recognition where it is due. Women also need to learn to promote themselves. – Sonali Sinha, SoaringEagles Learning

There is an increasing sensitivity among the startup fraternity while talking to the women who have started up. There is a sense of respect for them too. - Srijata Bhatnagar

If you are working for a good cause, there is a divine force backing you. - Madhurita Gupta, MyVets Charitable Trust

I am never affected by people’s negativity. I have no reason to hate you. If you hate me that’s your prerogative. – Sunny Leone

Career breaks will increasingly become a gender-neutral phenomenon. - Vrunda Bansode, Cloud Mentor

Women investors are twice likely to invest in women in business. - Som Singh, angel investor

Whether you are male or female, we have a great deal to learn by studying female leadership qualities. - Tsai Ing-Wen, President of Taiwan

If you are an entrepreneur, your communication skills matter more than your technical knowledge. - Aishwarya Goel, Swarn Amrit

I want to be recognised as a successful entrepreneur, not just as a successful woman entrepreneur. - Anisha Singh, Mydala

I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. - Ellen Page

Your resume is just a piece of paper. Don’t let your past experience define your future path. - Roshnee Nilkon, Pink Lemonade

You are not here to follow the pack; you are here to chart your own path. - Sanya Kapoor, Magikbox

Women don’t just look for product and price. They are looking for the ultimate shopping experience. – Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

When someone says you won’t do this because you are a girl, I can’t rest until I do that. - Aditi Chaurasia, EngineerBabu

Don’t be swayed by overnight success stories. Most entrepreneurs make it after years of hard work. - Lavina Rodrigues, Pyra

You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right. - Aung San Suu Kyi

It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures. – Oprah Winfrey

Women are not weak; they can do everything. - Mithila Palkar, ‘Girl in the City’

I let my work speak for me. - Veronica Cornelio, Mysore Sandal

I have always believed that the real history is made by ordinary people. – Mahashweta Devi

My journey as an entrepreneur has taught me so much in such a short time. - Amruda Nair, Aiana Hotels

If you have to prove anything wrong, first fight the fear of being proven wrong. - Esha Gupta, solo bike rider

Let’s not be mute witnesses anymore. Why be culpable when we can take up cudgels? - Aparna Raman, Timbuktoo

Inspiration is all around us. - Morvi Kumari, wedding photographer

Our struggle is what makes us. - Meher Malik, Banjara studio

Women in our society are pressurised so much in their childhood that by the time they complete education, they start feeling safer in the kitchen as compared to a job outside. - Parimala Hariprasad, Amadeus IT Group

As a leader, everyone wants a piece of you. - Tina Garg, Pink Lemonade

Don’t let them get you down – be cheeky, wild, and wonderful. - Julia Emmert, Ezebee

Simply relying on work hours to gain skills will not take you anywhere. What you do after work determines how far you can reach. - Sairee Chahal, SHEROES

Believe in the magic of new beginnings and have faith in your abilities to make it work. - Sanaa Jhurani, The Papier Project

Less is more. – Ridhi Arora

Don’t feel guilty, it is okay to be not able to do everything. - Mohita Indrayan, 612 League

Innovation is a learned skill. – Amantha Imber, Inventium

Women entrepreneurs are successful. Then why are we still being asked how we manage being a woman? – Riddhi Gupta, House Of Wow

For a first-time woman entrepreneur, and for someone who doesn’t have male partners, getting people into the business is a challenge. - Gitanjali Ramji, Tanjore by Angie

Our abilities as women and mothers are exactly what we need to create businesses that can brave any storm. - Tina Garg, Pink Lemonade

Managing pregnancy while managing (and growing) one’s own business teaches women to be master jugglers and that, for me, is the true essence of entrepreneurship. - Summi Gambhir, GlobalLinker

Educational qualifications are no bar to start a business. Be courageous and persevere and you can change your world! - Nandini B., Uber

What seems like a big problem today, will be solved or gone tomorrow for sure, but only if you keep working at it. - Manisha Ahlawat, Vivafit

We often tend to forget that gifts are the basis of our survival as a species. This earth and all that it gives – air, water, food, and sunlight, are all gifts. - Aparna Pallavi, Mahua Yatra

Conveying the strength and depth of a woman’s persona is challenging and at the same time, creatively satisfying. - Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi, artist

Mompreneurs are waiting in the wings for the startup ecosystem to finally acknowledge them. - Shriyanka Hore, TGFC

Do not fret over pre-defined societal milestones. - Pooja Sukhija, Recode

My mantra has always been to challenge the conventional hierarchy. – Natasha Mudhar, Sterling Communications

You are either a feminist, or an asshole. These are your choices. - Salman Rushdie

I just want to say to all husbands, fathers and brothers- never underestimate women and their intelligence, believe in them. – Aanchal Makhija, The Pehnava

Pain is inevitable, but suffering comes out of not accepting why something happened to you. Suffering can be controlled, if you accept. – Anu Aga, Thermax

Adventure helps build your personality. – Gayatree Joshi, ‘Inspiration Award’ winner

Find something you love doing, and start doing it right away – even as a hobby, if need be. Pursue it – you never know where it might take you. – Asha Rao, Sunday Soul Sante

As women’s issues continue to receive tremendous attention, it is important for Women Parliamentarians to form a united forum. – Rwitwika Bhattacharya, IWPF

Our youth’s population is the world’s largest and plays a pivotal role in gender equality. The decisions we make today will pave new ground for our children tomorrow. – Shivika Sinha, Veneka.Me

What if we supported the need of Indian women to manage home and hearth, while at the same time not waste their talent and skills? – Saundarya Rajesh, AVTAR I-WIN

I am shocked to see the rise in the number of fairness creams, dark actresses looking paler and paler with every film and magazines, hoardings, films and advertisements showing only fair women. – Nandita Das

I loved the idea of impacting someone’s life and making things better for them. –Vandana Luthra, VLCC

If you don’t believe in your story, no one will. - Bhaavna Arora, author

The practice of female infanticide in India will only end after daughters-in-law are treated as daughters. - Prema Devi

We have still have not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling. But some day, someone will. – Hillary Clinton

Beauty is from within and looks are transient. - Prithika Parthasarathy, AVA Skin Care

Sport is an exhibition of sheer human effort and performance. – Heena Sidhu

The expectations on women are unreal. - Jagrati Shringi, Voylla

Ego is a big issue today, put that aside and work. – Archana Ganapathy Poonacha, PinkApple Studios

Don't live in the shadows of people's judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom. – Amitabh Bachchan

Your true passion should feel like breathing, it’s that natural. – Oprah Winfrey

When a man is ambitious, he is called driven. When a woman is ambitious, it's a bad thing. It is the irony of our world. – Priyanka Chopra

Kick up a storm or die trying. - Upasana Taku, Mobikwik

Both men and women have to balance work and life, however, a woman is at the receiving end of prejudiced approaches more than men. - Shweta Jain, William Grant & Sons

Mistreating and disrespecting women doesn’t make a man cool, it makes him a monster. - Sunny Leone

It is humbling to work on something that changes the lives of millions of women across the world. - Raghu Mallena, Maya

The girl child has grown stronger over the decades, but the environment and the thought process need to undergo a change. - Sucheta Pal

As a woman, you will learn the double standards of the world much sooner than anyone else. - Tisca Chopra

No one should feel that they do not belong to society. – Deepika Padukone, TLLL Foundation

Women entrepreneurship in India has hit a tipping point. – Rinku Paul, Dare to be

Paint your own destiny. – Selamawit Alene, St George’s Gallery

Beyond a point your ‘bullshit quotient’ gives up and you need to find something that doesn’t just give you money but also makes you happy. - Neeti Palta, Loony Goons

It’s not always the big leap which is needed to start off – it’s fine to take small steps and begin your journey. - Anu Sharma, The HR Practice

Our mothers make the world alright. - Manisha Raisinghani, LogiNext

Females are determined that they will no more lag behind and stand side by side with their brothers in any activities however dangerous or difficult. - Manini Chatterjee, author

So irrespective of a great idea and great product, finding the right investors is tough! I feel that demonetisation is going to make fundraising even more difficult. –Meghna Saraogi, StyleDotMe

I don’t need to wear grey to show grey (matter). –Nivruti Rai, GM, Intel India

It’s not necessarily always about women’s rights but about how can we empower women to empower themselves. – Carrie Morgridge, Author and Philanthropist

The only incentive that we could provide was that your life can change if you learn and skill yourself; your economic condition can improve. –Revathi Kulkarni Roy, HeyDidi

A little support for women entrepreneurs can go a long way. –Ratna Prabha, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka

As a company, we value honesty, integrity and passion highly. – Likhita Bhanu, Terra Green Organics

Take everything that comes in your life and turn it into something positive, and you have the power to do it. –Ujjwala Raut, Model

Pursue your purpose and the means will follow. – Trupti Doshi, Auroma Group

Stay nimble, you don’t know where the next wave is. Get on the wave and ride it quickly. - Harsha Kumar, Lightspeed India Partners Advisors

This isn’t about politics, it’s about basic human decency and wrong. We can’t endure it. Now is the time for all of us to say – enough is enough. –Michelle Obama, First Lady, USA

The fact is we have a candidate for US President who in the course of his lifetime and this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking and demeaning. –Michelle Obama

We empower employees to make decisions and try. You don’t get punished for failure, but for not trying. - Radhika Aggarwal, ShopClues

You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt. –Oprah Winfrey

You need the courage and passion to wake up each morning and spring back. –Rachana Reddy, House of Blouse

Women are not weak; they can do everything. –Mithila Palkar, Actor

Dream yields to dream, strife follows strife,

And Death unweaves the webs of Life.

- Sarojini Naidu

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable on apps here: Apple, Android).



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