The final list honors entrepreneurs of every age, background and locale — from early-stage founders with world-changing ideas to women who have taken companies public, sold them to big buyers, or have spent decades building and running their businesses. These women are building and leading innovative companies in a vast range of global industries, including tech, fashion, finance, fitness, consumer products, food, and more.
“It is an honor to be included in Inc.’s Female Founders 100 list with such an accomplished group of inspiring women,” said Jaime Schmidt. “There’s nothing more powerful than women working alongside one another to pave the way for the next generation of female entrepreneurs to achieve their goals, especially for those who must overcome unjust barriers.”
Schmidt is the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a brand of natural personal care products that she started in her kitchen in Portland, Oregon in 2010. She introduced natural personal care products to the mainstream market, emerging with her breakout deodorant formulation featuring plant and mineral-based ingredients with original scents. Prioritizing customer feedback and accessible price points, Schmidt’s became a household name in major retailers including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart and CVS across 30 countries. In 2017, Schmidt’s was acquired by Unilever, with Schmidt continuing as the brand’s founder.
Schmidt remains passionate about helping emerging entrepreneurs pursue their own dreams. In June 2019, Schmidt and her husband and business partner, Chris Cantino, launched Supermaker, an editorial-driven platform that celebrates diverse, independent brands and creators, and hosts conversations that empower progressive values in the workplace. Supermaker elevates up-and-coming founders, especially women and people of color, and covers progressive business issues such as systemic barriers to funding, workplace inequity, and advocacy for underrepresented communities.
Schmidt and Cantino are also the co-founders of Color, an investment portfolio that supports diverse and underrepresented founders.
Inc. editors and writers spent the past year researching a wealth of exciting and accomplished candidates for the list. The founders selected have each made their mark on their industry in the past year, by setting audacious goals or by achieving business milestones. Taken together, they represent the female-led future of business.
“This year’s Female Founders 100 showcases the vast and diverse array of female entrepreneurship in America. From the young women whose startups are transforming financial services and tech, to veteran CEOs who have run iconic fitness and food companies for decades, these women are leading many of the most innovative businesses today,” says Maria Aspan, editor-at-large of Inc.
Introduced in 2018, the Female Founders 100 list quickly established itself as one of Inc.‘s most esteemed franchises. This year’s package includes a cover story on The Wing co-founder Audrey Gelman, who makes history as the first visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a mainstream business magazine; and a survey, done in concert with Inc. sister publication Fast Company, of more than 600 of the world’s top female founders discussing the state of women and entrepreneurship.
Inc.‘s Female Founders 100 issue (October 2019) is available online now at https://www.inc.com/2019-female-founders-100 and on newsstands beginning September 24. Join the Female Founders 100 conversation using #FemaleFounders.
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. has a total monthly audience reach of 50MM. This includes print, digital, video, newsletters and social footprint. For more information, visit www.inc.com.
Alexa Rogers, Sunshine Sachs
SOURCE Jaime Schmidt