The list of Forbes richest successful entrepreneurs and drop out billionaires is dominated by men; but there are women who refused to die without leaving their prints in the sands of time. I am talking about women who took the bull by its horn and refused to accept anything below average from life. I have been studying the profiles and biographies of famous entrepreneurs but I have learned the most from the women entrepreneurs.

I am talking about female entrepreneurs that started businesses from scratch and built multi billion dollar empires. I am talking about business women such as Oprah Winfrey; the richest black woman in the world, C.J. Walker, Folorunsho Alakija, Anita Roddick, Rachael Ray, Coco Chanel, Mary Kay Ash, Jenny Craig, Martha Stewart, Lilian Vernon, Debbi Fields and Estee Lauder.

Now how did these women become famous entrepreneurs? What traits or characters do they possess that the average female entrepreneurs lack? What’s the secret to their business success? What traits helped Oprah Winfrey, Anita Roddick and Martha Stewart become billionaires? Well, read on.

In this article, I will be highlighting the 10 characteristics of the world’s most successful business women; women who started businesses from scratch. Are you a female entrepreneur? Do you want to start a business from scratch and grow it big ? Then read on as I list the traits needed to become a successful business woman.

10 Characteristics of Successful Business Women (Entrepreneurs)

1. Self Belief

The first and probably the most important characteristic possessed by successful women entrepreneurs is self belief. Read the written journals or listen to the speeches of these successful business women and you will observe that they had a firm belief that they were destined to be great. They believed in themselves; what others said about them didn’t matter. They never looked for problem solvers; they believed they were the problem solvers and that belief worked for them.

2. They had Faith

Faith is moving ahead, even in the face of uncertainty. Did these successful business women have faith? My answer is yes. No one can build a successful business without faith because business is a game where you thrive on uncertainty. When starting a business; success is never guaranteed, compared to climbing the corporate ladder. If you lack faith, you won’t have the drive to press on even when there’s no sign of progress.

3. They are passionate about what they do

If there’s one thing that propels successful business women forward; it is passion. Successful women entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do and that’s why they built a business around what they love to do best. Debbi Fields built a business out of her passion for baking cookies; Rachael Ray built a business around her passion for cooking and Oprah Winfrey became the richest black woman with her passion for public speaking. So if you have a passion; believe in it, strive to be the best in it and you will emerge a success.

4. They are humble and willing to learn

Entrepreneurship is a life long process and successful business women know this. Things change so fast in the business world; you could be an innovation today and become obsolete tomorrow. To stay on course and adapt swiftly to the ever changing trend, successful women entrepreneurs keep studying and learning. They read industrial journals, books and magazines. They attend seminars and update themselves regularly with the latest industrial trend. Successful female entrepreneurs know that their cup is never full; they know that they don’t have the right answers to all questions. So they humble themselves and learn when availed the opportunity.

5. Ability to handle criticism

“Dare to risk public Criticism” – Mary Kay Ash

Show me a business woman who hasn’t been criticized and I will show you an average woman. Successful women entrepreneurs were able to achieve success because they refused to be bugged down by negative comments. From Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray to Martha Stewart; they have all been criticized heavily. If you are an individual that listens to other people’s opinion before taking action; then your success will be limited.

6. Persistence

Perseverance is my motto.” – Madame C.J. Walker

Another trait possessed by successful women entrepreneurs is persistence. Starting a business is one thing; but sticking to the entrepreneurial process is another. Nothing good comes easy; you must give a good fight and persist on what you want; if you are to really achieve success in the business world. Without persistence, I don’t think you can become a successful business woman.

7. They had big Dreams

The only thing I had was this recipe, and with that recipe was a dream. And those were the only things that I had to build my business: a recipe and a dream. And there was no way I wasn’t going to see this dream through. And, so, my journey began. I made the decision, and I was going to see it through.” – Debbi Fields

If there’s anything that kept the successful women entrepreneurs going; it was their dream to build a successful business and achieve beyond mediocrity. Successful business women envisioned a lifestyle; they envisioned a future for themselves and they went for it.

8. They go beyond their comfort zone

Is Oprah the only female talk show host? The answer is no. Then why did she emerge the richest black woman in the world? The reason was because she went an extra mile than others. You can never become a successful entrepreneur by sitting within your comfort zone; you have to step out into the unknown and that’s what the successful business women did. They left the comfort of their home and security of their jobs to face life squarely. They paid the price for success.

9. They balanced their acts

When my company started really growing, I didn’t have any help in my house at all. I had the upkeep of my daily life, I had a one year old and a three year old, and I had my house. So I had to prioritize.” – Julie Aigner Clark

One of the key characteristics of successful women entrepreneurs is the ability to balance their acts between family and business responsibilities. It’s really quite a challenge building a business alongside raising a family; and to succeed, these women entrepreneurs had to overcome this challenge. How did they overcome this challenge? How did they balance their acts? They did it by mastering the art of delegation and time management.

“How did you balance growing the business with raising a family? You just do. I had a business, a lot of orders, and a baby howling for supper. You balance it. You give your baby supper first and then get your orders in. I have worked on more holidays… but what are you going to do?” – Lilian Vernon

10. Strong sense of purpose

“To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.” – Anita Roddick

“We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, ‘she cared.” – Mary Kay Ash

The last characteristic possessed by successful women entrepreneurs is “a strong sense of purpose.” Critic the life of entrepreneurs such as Coco Chanel, Mary Kay Ash and Oprah Winfrey; you will observe that they live as if serving a higher purpose. And this sense of purpose reflected in their business mission. This is why their businesses and brands will stand the test of time even after their demise.

I was a woman with a mission. I would stop people, even buses I would stop and say, ‘Here, you’ve got to taste these cookies. Just try them.” – Debbi Fields


These are the ten characteristics that make up successful business women. If you aspire to become a successful business woman; then strive to develop these traits and I will see you at the top.