The Women (and Girls) of Small Business – Part 3

By: Erika Moye

Happy Women’s History Month!

While we resume our series for this very important month dedicated to ladies’ history and their achievements, here is a list of pivotal women in the business world that have and continue to inspire across the globe.

Carolyn Rafaelian

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Carolyn Rafaelian is the founder and CEO of the praised jewelry franchise, Alex and Ani, named after her two eldest daughters. Rafaelian has received awards from the Small Business Administration and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Her company exponentially grew from $5 million to more than $500 million from 2012 to 2016. 20% of her profits also go to charity through the Charity By Design Initiative. She is also the owner of Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, a winery which features wine making, dining areas, and locally sourced foods. Since her ownership, the vineyard has won countless awards internationally.

Cher Wang

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Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Cher Wang, is the co-founder and chairperson of smartphone manufacturer, HTC Corporation. HTC produces one out of every six smartphones in the United States, and integrated the chipset maker, VIA Technologies. Wang is considered one of the most successful women in technology and is listed as the 54th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes! She has donated millions to help found the Guizhou Forerunner College in southwest China, set up by VIA Technologies’ non-profit, Faith-Hope-Love Foundation. The college offers three years of free and/or low-cost schooling to individuals from low-income families.

Anisha Singh

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Anisha Singh is passionate about women’s rights and workplace issues, where she focuses on constructing a future where women’s success stories are a part of the norm and not the exception.  Singh is the founder and CEO of, a local services marketing platform. She started her career on Capital Hill with the Clinton Administration to help women entrepreneurs raise money for women-led businesses. Singh has received many awards for her noted entrepreneurship and continues to launch more and more opportunities for women wanting to start their own businesses.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

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Educator, ambassador, businesswoman, author, entrepreneur, author, mentor– Janice Bryant Howroyd does it all! She is the founder and CEO of ActOne Group, which is the largest privately held, woman owned workforce solutions company in the United States. Her company provides employment, management and procurement solutions to many organizations, industries, and agencies. Her company has grown to 19 countries with thousands of clients and employees. Howroyd was even selected by former President, Barack Obama, as a White House appointee, and as of today, still serves under the current administration as an Ambassador of Energy. She donates and advocates for STEM education for women and minorities.

Sunara Williams

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Sunara Williams is the founder of a monthly book subscription box service called My Lit Box. With the motto “Color. Conversation. Community,” Williams launched her business to create an online space where the conversation is always centered around writers of color to celebrate their works- as they are often overlooked. Since it’s founding,  My Lit Box has produced a thriving online community to give writers of color a chance at success. Through her site, there are also local (based in Los Angeles) events posted often, that focus on books and reading, where organizations and writers can upload to share with the literature community.

These ladies have given something to society, nationally and globally, in such an indescribable way. They have each paved a road for many women interested in entrepreneurship fields like technology, literature, jewelry, and so much more!

With that, let’s enjoy the remainder of this month celebrating the achievements of our fellow women and the achievements of many more to come. Interested in the companies of each of these incredible women? Links are below!

Alex and Ani:
HTC Corporation:
ActOne Group:
My Lit Box: