Women entrepreneurs face more than the usual founder challenges of starting up, in terms of cultural prejudices and lack of public safety, as well as pressures of balancing work, home and family. Some of these obstacles are even more acute in countries like India, but this has not held back waves of successful women entrepreneurs, many of whom are profiled in the books in this list.
See also our earlier compilations: 5 books by women entrepreneurs to give you a dose of inspiration, and 10 inspirational books by women, for women; they provide overviews of books such as Let IT Go: The Memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley by Dame Stephanie Shirley;
Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran; Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, by Kaira Rouda; The Accidental Entrepreneur: 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me about Starting Business by Susan Urquhart-Brown; Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg; Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P Frankel; What I know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey; Thrive by Ariana Huffington; #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso and Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose by Lara Casey.
Follow Every Rainbow: Inspiring Stories of 25 Women Entrepreneurs whose Gentle Touch Created Strong Business by Rashmi Bansal
Prolific author Rashmi Bansla covers stories of 25 women entrepreneurs in three categories: Lakshmi (entrepreneurs who enlisted family support), Durga (women who overcame hindrances and victimhood and battled hard for success) and Saraswati (educated women entrepreneurs who struck out on their own). Profiled entrepreneurs include Meena Bindra (Biba), Manju Bhatia (Vasuli), Rajni Bector (Cremica), Nirmala Kandalgaonkar (Vivam AgroTech), Ranjana Naik (Swan Suites), Leela Bordia (Neerja International), Premlata Agarwal (Mt. Everest climber), Paru Jaykrishna (Asahi Songwon), Patricia Narayan (award-winning caterer), Sudeshma Banerjee (DigiTech HR), Jasu Shilpi (sculptor), Dipali Sikand (Les Concierges), Binapani Talukdar (Pansy Exports), Ela Bhatt (Shona McDonald), Nina Lekhi (Sangeeta Patni (Extension Software), Satya Vadlamani (Murti Krishan Pharma), Shikha Sharma (NutriHealth Systems), Deepa Soman (Lumiere Business Solutions), Namrata Sharma (Krayon Pictures), Neeti Tah (36 Rang), and A. Ameena (PJP Industries).
Each profile also provides useful lessons and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs. Do something you love and are passionate about and good at. Emotional drive will sustain your enterprise. Align family members with your dreams and objectives, bond with them, and show how they can also benefit.
Dare to Be: 14 Fearless Women Who Gave Wings to Their Dreams by Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal
This 206-page book features profiles and learnings of 14 women entrepreneurs across a wide range: bloggers, artistes, coaches, social entrepreneurs, and IT professionals who found creative satisfaction along with commercial success. They include: Kanika Tekriwal (JetSetGo Aviation Services), Anisha Singh (Mydala), Neeru Sharma, (InfiBeam), Sairee Chahal (Sheroes.in), Pooja Warier (UnLtd India), Yukti Kapoor Mehandiratta (Concept Exhibitions), Malini Agarwal (MissMalini.com), Sonam Kalra (Sufi Gospel Project), Monica Bhide ‘Modern Spice,), Swati Kaushal (‘Piece of Cake’), Sucheta Pal (Zumba educator), Abha Maryada Banerjee (Success India Leadership Company), Rangana Rupavi Choudhari, (Vitality Living College), and Neeti Palta (Loony Goons).
The entrepreneurs profiled in the book share some of their success tips: choose your passion and money will follow; have back-up plans; develop a continuous learning habit; have a thick skin and take rejection only as a temporary setback; and give back to society.
Superwomen: Inspiring Stories of 20 Women Entrepreneurs by Prachi Garg
This book covers women entrepreneurs in sectors ranging from e-commerce and creative firms to library networks and online support agencies. The success stories feature Madhavi Gandhi (Happy Hands), Ria Sharma (Make Love Not Scars), Richa Singh (Your Dost),
Masoom Minawala (StyleFiesta), Richa Kar (Zivame), Sneha Raisoni (Tappu ki Dukaan), Alicia Souza (illustrator), Charnita Arora (Perfect Life Spot), Falak Randerian (My Little Chatterbox), Pankhuri Shrivastava (Grabhouse), Saumya Vardhan (ShubhPuja), Surbhi Mahajan (Dermatocare), Tina Garg (Pink Lemonde), Vidula Kantikar Kothare (ThinkCreative Ad Solutions), Rachana Nagranee (Pitaara), Geetika Chadha (Imagenie), Rashi Narang (Heads up for Tails), Sneh Sharma (Ittisa); and Sunita Jaju and Swati Maheshwari (Rustic Art).
She Walks, She Leads: Women Who Inspire India by Gunjan Jain
This hefty book profiles 24 outstanding women achievers from India in six categories: corporate, altruism, entertainment, arts media and sports. Profiled leaders include Naina Lal Kidwai, Sudha Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sania Mirza, Indra Nooyi, Priyanka Chopra, Mira Nair, and Mary Kom. Each profile also includes interviews with colleagues and/or spouses of these changemakers.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney
Women around the world are embarking on entrepreneurial voyages. This book profiles over 100 creative women from a range of ages, races, backgrounds, and industries. Each profile is full of practical insights and inspiration insights, ranging from daily habits to crisis management.
Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen
Did you know that Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer, or that Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize? This eye-opening book covers a wide range of women artists, warriors, scientists, activists, and even spies. The book is beautifully illustrated and as illuminating as it is insightful.
Women Entrepreneurs: Inspiring Stories from Emerging Economies and Developing Countries by Mauro F. Guillén
This book covers over 20 case studies of women in emerging economies, where support structures for entrepreneurship and business scale are not as developed as in mature economies. The author also provides a literature review of entrepreneurship for academic readers. “Women entrepreneurs have become a key driving force in improving the state of the world,” according to Jean-Pierre Rosso, Chairman, World Economic Forum.
Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big by Julia Pimsleur
This book profiles seven women who, instead of “leaning in,” simply left corporate America and “marched in” to the world of entrepreneurship. The case profiles cover the art of networking, delegation and coaching, along with a healthy dose of humour and useful exercises.
Creative Business Startup: Empowering Creative Women to Start a Small Business from Home by Jen Brazeal
This book provides practical tips for women who want to start businesses from home. It covers operational, marketing and even legal tips. Though there are many useful resources on the Internet, this book goes the extra step by providing tips in a mentor-like manner for those women contemplating side businesses.