For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

4 of Philadelphia’s Most Successful Businesswomen

March 8, 2018

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month. Since then, we have used this time to celebrate feminist icons such as Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou. Throughout history, women have steadily strived for equality, which eventually lead to women of all backgrounds to have the ability to flourish in professional industries that were once exclusively for men.

This month, we not only celebrate the accomplishments of internationally-known historic women, but also influential women in Philadelphia.

Jane Golden, photo credits Mural Arts Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for its poignant, culturally-significant murals. Jane Golden, founder and executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, has helped paint Philadelphia in a new, more expressive light while creating opportunities for local artists. Under Golden’s direction, Mural Arts has implemented more than 3,800 works of public art and developed innovative programs in youth art education, restorative justice and behavioral health.

Emily Bittenbender

Emily Bittenbender, founder and managing partner of Bittenbender Construction, began her career focusing on design, construction and renovations of public buildings and spaces. As Philadelphia’s first Capital Program Director for the CPO, Emily was responsible for bringing private sector business practices to the city. In 2015, the Philadelphia chapter of the General Building Contractors Association named Emily Bittenbender as its new chairwoman — the first female to hold the top post in the organization’s 124-year history.

Bittenbender Construction’s most recent high profile project is the reconstruction of Love Park. Her company was recently ranked #2 on the “The List” for Women-Owned Businesses by the Philadelphia Business Journal – based on Company Revenue in 2016.

Nicole Marquis

Nicole Marquis, founder of Marquis & Co., dedicated herself to increasing the popularity and availability of plant-based, healthful food. Marquis & Co. is the parent company of fast-casual restaurant chain HipCityVeg and two full-service Philadelphia restaurants Bar Bombón and Charlie was a sinner. HipCityVeg has expanded across Philadelphia and established a location in Washington D.C.

Donna De Carolis

Dr. Donna De Carolis is the Founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, the first freestanding school of entrepreneurship in the nation to offer degrees. She has pioneered entrepreneurship education by designing and delivering seminars on innovation, strategic thinking, corporate entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Her recent accomplishments at the university have significantly contributed to advancing Drexel University’s ranking as a top entrepreneurship university by Princeton Review.

De Carolis, an active member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, was the 2015 recipient of their Iris Newman Award. This award is given each year to a woman business leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping advance women entrepreneurs.

The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) strives to serve women founders who are developing their business. Anne-Marie Corner, one of the four businesswomen that founded the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, describes the AWE as, “"...the place you know you will find your friends, your confidants, a support network, access to capital, knowledge, and the things you need to make your business successful."

Philadelphia values a strong support system for women entrepreneurs, and recognizes trailblazing women for their innovative spirit and drive to make change in our city. Active support systems like the AWE and inspirational mentors such as the women mentioned in this article provide young professional women the empowerment and confidence needed to succeed in their chosen fields.

Sarah Temple, Communications, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship