Real Women Who Inspire Us

From incredible stories about starting businesses to outstanding tales of generosity, these real women's stories leave us determined and inspired!

Real Women's Stories: 'I Turned My Family Recipe Into Big Business'

Heartwarming soups. Melt-in-your-mouth Southern biscuits. Organic tortilla chips. Scottish oatcakes. Meet five enterprising women who've taken beloved home cooking and built it into a thriving career. 

From half-baked to business—here's the dish on free online resources to help you get cooking!

Learn the ropes. Download articles on business basics from the U.S. Small Business Administration (; its Office of Women's Business Ownership also oversees a nationwide chain of Women's Business Centers, which provide training. Or visit for links to online resources and events.

Find a mentor. pairs burgeoning entrepreneurs with volunteer business experts. Post a sales or marketing question on For more resources, search online for the name of your town plus "small business association" or "SBDC" (small business development center).

Write a business plan. provides sample plans, many in the food category.

• Learn about financing. offers soup-to-nuts advice on raising capital. connects investors with start-ups. provides a free online career center. Crowdfunding sites for small businesses include,, and


Able to invest?
In addition to offering classes and workshops at its twice-yearly Fancy Food shows, held in New York City and San Francisco, the Specialty Food Association maintains a knowledge center on its website,, where you can buy downloadable reports (most about $50) and webinars (most about $90) on a range of topics including trends in the industry as well as databases of food brokers and distributors.