8 Daring Female Entrepreneurs From History

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By Leila McNeil

In the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses has risen 114 percent. But female entrepreneurship isn’t just a hallmark of the modern era: Since as early as the 17th century, women have been forging their own paths in a variety of trades. From merchants to ironmasters to dressmakers, these historic women shattered glass ceilings and broke stereotypes to rise to the top of their industries.

1. MARGARET HARDENBROECK

When 22-year-old Margaret Hardenbroeck arrived in New Amsterdam (later New York) from the Netherlands in 1659, she was ambitious and ready to work. She already had a job

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