Women’s Business

The essay ‘Women’s Business’ written by Ilene Kantrov deals with the successful stories made by different American women capitalist in their business and profession in America. In a sense, the essay explores the professional biography of six different women who made themselves popular, renowned and established in their field. They not only earned their best living but also earned name and fame through the different projects they established to make other women trained and educated. In spite of their success in business they had made mistakes in course of advertising their products to the public. Through they aimed to help women to solve their problems through their business, their interest however was in making money rather than improving the society. The six different women who did a miracle in their business and helped the race of other women to sustain in their life are:

  1. Lydia E. Pinkham

She was a first woman capitalist who made a successful story in her business and opened a door to other women capitalists to follow her footsteps. She was famous for her medicine named Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound. She made it herself in her house in 1879. The medicine was advertised as a home remedy for women’s diseases like infertility, nervousness, marital conflicts, hysteria, etc. She through this medicine not only earned a good living but also heralded women’s era. She established an advertising agency in connection with her son and earned a lot in 1881. She founded a department of advice to help women by advising them not to seek the guidance from male practical suggestions about women’s diet, exercise, hygiene, etc. As a result, she became able to place her name as the successful business women in American history. Because of the business strategy, she adopted i.e. aimed to uplift the women’s economic status. Through social activity, she became a folk heroin like the subject of popular songs.

  1. Helena and Elizabeth

These two women were the rivals in their images as women to promote their products. They became famous not only by selling cosmetics but also by marrying to European aristocrats. Helena sold a book on the advantage of eating raw foods. Elizabeth introduced a line make up that was not used then and she paid attention to hairstyling, readymade clothes and nutrition as well.

  1. Margaret Rudkin

She was the founder of Pepperidge farm that was devoted to sell healthy food items. She earned a lot out of out of this business and she first used her product for treating her son suffering from asthma. That way, she supported her husband economically.

  1. Jennie Grossinger

She was the famous name in American business. She established a hotel and resort and became renowned for serving good food and entertainment among the customers. She managed to establish herself as the grandmother in the eyes of her customers.

  1. Gertrude Muller

She sold the things that were related to child caring and rearing. He products helped people look after their babies well. She also published a book that gave ideas of child raising. Her contribution in this field became a progressive philosophy of child rearing and her books were widely distributed by doctors to the mothers of the babies.

  1. Anne Turnbo – Malone

She was a black female capitalist. She founded her business at the turn of the century on hair-dressing. Like Pinkham she developed an innovative marketing technique to earn big money and to promote her business. She also established a school for training agents and advertised it as the means to uplift her race and for their economic independence.

Among these women, few of them became able to combine their business with social compaigns. They contributed a lot to hospitals, schools but their main aim was to earn money. In the later days, their advertisement claims were proved to be extravagant and misleading so they were controlled by the government. In the essay, the writer says they became different from their male counterparts because they combined their products but also giving useful suggestions to their customers. But profit motive made them as similar as their male counterparts. That way, they couldn’t become the ladies first as it seemed to be.


  1. How did the business women as introduced by the writer in her essay differ from their male counterpart? In what ways did they resemble male entrepreneurs of their day?

>> Even though the field of business has been common for both male and female, their lies a number of similarities and differences between them. For example: most of the business women followed the pattern of profit motive and social service whereas the business men hardly did that.

The women like Pinkham suggested her female customers to bypass the male physicians whereas the business men didn’t.

The target group of the business women are only the female customers which means it was exclusive but on the other hand the products of business men are all inclusive by serving both males and females.

Most of the business women grew their business skills out of their traditional skills whereas that is not a case with business men.

Most of the business women took advantage of being female while promoting and selling their products whereas that was not so easy for the business men.

However, regarding the quality of product, both businessmen and women are supposed to be equally responsible. If they were found coming up with the products having low quality, then both the groups would have to go through the legal procedure.

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