24 entrepreneurs on why they left corporate jobs to found companies

  • Dreamers & Doers is a networking community of female entrepreneurs, creatives, and change-makers. Many of its members quit their corporate jobs to start their own companies.
  • For some women who were starting families, being their own boss gave them the flexibility and autonomy that traditional jobs could never give them.
  • Others knew they could make a bigger impact in marginalized communities if they pursued their own passions and initiatives. 
  • “As I moved through my corporate career in health and health tech, I was often the only woman, the only person of colour, and the youngest in the room,” said Ivelyse Andino, founder and CEO of Radical Health. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ronda Fraley used to have a different definition of success. “I used to think that success was limited to getting the big corporate job and climbing the ladder,” she said. “But I had a realization that success is personal, and it looks different for everyone.”

That realization led her to trade in her corporate career for entrepreneurship, and she says she’s never looked back. Now, Fraley is the founder of The Wine Party Co., the go-to place for people who want to drink great wine and learn about it. “I had an idea that would make wine more approachable for the casual wine drinker, and now that’s exactly what I do every day. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s fulfilling.” 

Like Fraley, these two dozen other female founders became increasingly aware that their corporate careers were not going to carry them towards their personal definition of success. Instead, they chose to take their foundational guiding principles and translate them into companies of their own — ultimately solving the problems they were facing themselves.

Whatever their reasoning — a need for flexibility, a lack of representation, or a yearning to have more of an impact — their inspiring stories of leaving their corporate jobs beautifully illustrate that success is not a one-size-fits-all destination but rather an exciting journey filled with endless opportunities.

Read more: 3 women leading the zero-waste movement reveal how they’re managing to change the world while making a profit

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