The 49 Most Notable Female Internet Heroes of 2009

2009 has endured the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and yet female start-ups are growing in numbers as more of our lives are spent online.  We have compiled our list of notable 2009 Female Internet Hero achievements.  Far from exhaustive, if you feel you should be added to the list let us know as we will be adding to the list:


The Digital Government Hero


Martha Lane Fox (Flickr, Lloyd Davis)

Martha Lane Fox is appointed the Government's Digital Inclusion Champion


The Launch Heroes


Sarah Prevette, Founder of Sprouter (left)

Sarah Prevette launches Sprouter

Which asks entrepreneurs the question “What are you working on?”

Paola de Leo and Co-Founder Colin Firth launch Brightwide

A platform where you can watch the best social and political cinema

Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist launches a professional social network for Generation Y

The blog network, which launched over a year ago, provides a network focusing on the 'human side' of potential employees.

Mr and Mrs Tom Harrow (Former Microsoft programmer) relaunches

A site with the UK’s first database of geo-coded child carers

Deirdre Bounds launches Parties Around the World

A website that offers an ethical alternative for busy parents fed up of the throwaway consumerism perpetuated by children’s birthday parties
sarah beeny

Sarah Beeny launches Tepilo

Where users can buy and sell their homes, take control of the process and all for free

Rajeeb Dey and Leah Magoye (Africa Representative) launches Enternships

the first online platform to successfully recruit graduates for roles in start-ups and leading small businesses across the globe
flickr: Michelle Dewberry

Michelle Dewberry launches Chiconomise

A site that helps ladies economise their chic ways

Natasha Friis Saxberg launches Mentory

A mentorship tool with a learning relationship that benefits through conversations and guidance

Stephanie Phair and Net-A-Porter launch

Offering women worldwide unparalleled choice and discounts on previous season’s luxury fashion from over 200 brands

Michelle Gallen launches Talk Irish

a social network for Irish language learners.
pic_anja beerepoot

Anja Beerepoot launches Female Factor

A network for women who like to share and show their talents
(cc by mharrsch)

The Queen relaunches the Royal website

with a Buckingham Palace reception and guests including Sir Tim-Berners Lee.



Kim Mance of Galavanting launches travelblogexchange

A platform where travel bloggers can congregate, offer tips, advice and support to each other.

Shaa Wasmund launches Smarta

A combination of Linkedin, Eventbrite and Meetup for UK entrepreneurs
Sophie Cox, founder Worldeka

Sophie Cox and brother Charlie launch Worldeka

A social network with a conscience.


The Fundraising Heroes


pic_fran crawford

Dr Fran Crawford secures £500k investment from the Aspire Fund for Altacor

An ophthalmology development and marketing company in Cambridge.

Polly Gowers secures £350k investment from the Aspire Fund for Everyclick

The on-line platform which enables consumers to make secure donations to any one of the UK’s 200,000 charities
Gina Bianchini, the influencer of 2008

Gina Bianchini and Ning raise $15m and named as one of Fastcompanys 20 Most Influential Women in Tech

Where users can create, customise and share their own social networks
Marina Tognetti (Flickr) of Myngle

Marina Tognetti and Myngle secure €950,000 funding

The online platform linking teachers and people achieves government backed funding totally almost €1m

Jana Eggers and Spreadshirt Announce €10 million investment

from Accel and Kennet Partners.



Alicia Navarro and Skimlinks raises two rounds of funding

Led by Sussex Place Ventures, the first round was believed to be in the region of £700k and the second £900,000c
Lesley Eccles

Lesley Eccles of Hubdub achieves £810, 000 in funding

from Pentech Ventures, Scottish Co-Investment Fund and additional Angel Investors.



The Career Heroes



Angel Gambino joins Sonico as VP, Business Development

The social network of Latin America that organises people’s lives online
Tiffany Hall has made the CIO List

Tiffany Hall named CIO of BBC

In the Future Media & Technology division
(CC: Knnknda) Carol at Yahoo

Carol Bartz is announced CEO of Yahoo

One of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley, she is a technology veteran and one of Forbes 100 most powerful women in 2009.


The Award Winning Heroes


claire boonstra

Claire Boonstra wins The Accenture Innovation Awards for Layar

The reality browser
pic_sanne bart

Bart and Sanne van Poll win Lonely Planet's best group authored blog

For travel tip website Spotted by Locals
pic_ree drumond

Ree Drummond wins Weblog of the Year

At 'The Bloggies' for her 'Confessions of a Pioneer Woman'. She also won Best-Designed Weblog and Best Photography of a Weblog.


The Exit Hero


Miriam Lahage

Miriam Lahage sells Koodos and wins The Online Fashion 100 Awards

The award-winning Koodos was sold to e-trader for an undisclosed amount


The Investor Heroes


Julie Meyer

Julie Meyer re-launches Entrepreneurs Country and announces the ACE Fund

Entrepreneurs Country aims to be the entrepreneurial home – the must-read, and the must-contribute-to place – for Europe’s entrepreneurs

Sheetal Mehta launches Shanti Microfinance

Which takes technology and microfinance to entrepreneurs in slums in India.


The Influential Heroes


Elaine Wherry, Seth Sternberg and Sandy Jen

Elaine Wherry and Sandy Jen of Meebo named two of the most influential women in tech

by Fast Company


The Deal Making Heroes


Karin Loeffen of Libersy

Karin Loeffen closes deals with BT and Hyves for use of Libersy

Which now sees BT Tradespace offering online booking and payment, and Hyves online organisation of events



The Catalyst Heroes


Founder & CEO Anya Navidski

Anya Navidski launches Jumpstart

An incubator program that calls itself a philanthropy organisation

Sharon Vosmek of Astia, Carola Schropp of EBD group and Sara Jane Demy of Demy-Colton Life-Science form a Biotech Partnership

To provide extra support to women entrepreneurs starting and growing biotech companies

Reshma Sohoni announces mini-Seedcamp in the UK

A slimmed down version of their Seedcamp week


pic_astia sharon

Astia launches its 'Doing it Right Program' in the UK

For exceptional women entrepreneurs who want to increase their ability to attract and understand funding


The Top Entrepreneurial Heroes


pic_christina vaughan

Christina Vaughan of Image Source named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business


pic_rita sharma

Rita Sharma of named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business
Sarah McVittie

Sarah McVittie of Textperts named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business

Natalie Massenet of Net-A-Porter named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business



Zarine Kharas of named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business

Tamara Heber-Percy of Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique Hotel Guides named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business
Christina Domecq

Christina Domecq of SpinVox named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business



Karen Darby of Simply Switch Utilities comparison service named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business

Bec Astley Clarke of named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business

Glenys Berd of named as one of the UK's 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women

by Real Business

Where is Oprah Winfrey !!!!!

I think it's not coincidental that so many women start their business during an economic crisis. Women are used to solve problems in a downpour, to take action and rise to the occasion.

I wish them all the success in the world!

Hermiony Way should deifnitely be on the list!
She founded and of course

Where is Leah Culver!

Would be interested to know if any of these women started their on-line businesses after having children.

Perhaps the career break that many women have when raising small children provides them with a great opportunity to commence their own on-line businesses at home?

Don't forget Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez .

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