ForbesWoman’s Geri Stengel lists 11 reasons to be encouraged about women entrepreneurs’ prospects in 2015. One is the number of successful women-owned companies being created. Stengel notes that nine of CNC’s 20 hottest start-ups of 2014are headed by women.

A direct result of that growing number of successes is an increase in the women entrepreneur role models for women. That’s especially important. In their “Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology” (Diversion Books, 2014), authors Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya argue that one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs has been a lack of role models who can motivate women to create their own businesses.

Research finds that women are likely than men to seek outside funding because they fear being turned down, Stengel writes. But new funding options and easier access through social media can change that, she argues. Women’s shares of angel-investor funding continues to grow. Although just 4% of senior partners at venture-capital firms are women, Stengel believes that finally is beginning to change.

You can Stengel’s complete list of positive indicators here. But it doesn’t have to stop with 11. Can you add a 12th reason to be optimistic about women’s entrepreneurship in 2015? Join the conversation at

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