Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is the editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a national and now global magazine she and her team launched in May 2000 to provide a strong voice for women entrepreneurs. With headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, it is the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women. The magazine provides a friendly meeting place, a public forum and a national stage for the critical issues confronting women’s businesses and daily lives from the unique perspectives and experiences of entrepreneurial women. Published in both print and digital editions, the online edition of the magazine reaches one million readers in 185 countries. The magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020 and is available in print and digital editions, supplemented by The Connector, a blog through the publication’s website at www.enterprisingwomen.com.


“When our team researched the need for a magazine targeted to women entrepreneurs in the late 1990s, the environment for women in business was very different than it is today. Women’s voices were not reflected in the mainstream business publications that existed at that time. Few women were profiled in those publications and even fewer women appeared on the staff lists for those publications. Women seemed largely invisible. We thought it was about time to shine a light on the amazing work that women were doing to start and grow businesses."


Smiley also serves as president of the Enterprising Women Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in 2010 to encourage philanthropy among women entrepreneurs and support initiatives to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship in the U.S. and globally. The Enterprising Women Foundation has also achieved significant growth and recognition since it was founded 10 years ago. They now host mentoring forums for high school girls across the U.S. and Canada, connecting young women mostly from under-served communities with women entrepreneurs from their local community for a two-hour program that includes a panel discussion and small group mentoring to educate and inspire these young women to set high goals for themselves and give them practical guidance to help them achieve their goals. They also offer scholarships to one or two girls who attend each event to come to the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Conference in the Spring. They have built a two-day program for the scholarship recipients that includes leadership training, public speaking and self-confidence building skills, and showcase panels on what it means to be an entrepreneur and opportunities in the STEM fields. Each young woman is matched with three mentors at the conference who are either members of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board or are winners of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

The annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, now in its 19th year, honors the top 100 women entrepreneurs from around the globe at a two-day event held each spring.


“In 2003, we launched the Enterprising Women of the Year Award to recognize women who were leading fast-growth companies, giving back to their communities in significant ways, and mentoring other women or girls. The first year of that program, we recognized just three honorees at an evening reception in Manhattan. Today the program recognizes over 100 women entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and around the globe each year, with businesses from under a million in annual revenues to over a billion in annual revenues. We partner with the major women’s business organizations to identify and recognize these women and host a 2-1/2 day conference that gives participants an opportunity to share best practices and network with the top women entrepreneurs from around the globe."


Monica’s work to economically empower women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and globally aligns with her lifelong passion to work for the advancement of women. An activist for women’s rights since her high school and college years, she served as president of the Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for Women in the early 1980s. As president of the Jackson, Michigan Chapter of NOW in the late 1970s, she led the effort to challenge the local school district to implement Title IX regulations to ensure equal opportunities for girls in the district’s athletic programs, resulting in a number of substantive changes that opened up opportunities for girls in the area. The implementation of Title IX has been heralded as the change that revolutionized opportunities for girls and young women at the high school and collegiate level, paving the way for the changes we now see in the advancement of women in professional athletics and women athletes competing at the Olympics.

Monica serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) and has been a mentor in the Peace Through Business program working with Rwandan and Afghan women entrepreneurs for the past ten years. An award-winning journalist, Smiley has more than 40 years of magazine publishing experience and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 National NAWBO Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award, the first Adrienne Hall Award presented in 2009 by the Women Presidents’ Organization in recognition of her work to build bridges and alliances within the women’s business community, and the President’s Award and Innovator of the Year Award from Women Impacting Public Policy. She received the 2013 Gold Stevie Award for “Women Helping Women” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Difference 100 Award” in recognition of her work to economically empower women around the globe. Folio magazine named Monica to its 2015 list of “Top Women in Media and the “FOLIO 100: Top Leaders in Magazine Media” for 2018.”

Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley

In 2015, she was recognized by STEMConnector and the Million Women Mentors Program for her work with the Enterprising Women Foundation’s National Mentorship Initiative to inspire the next generation of Young Enterprising Women. STEMConnector/Million Women Mentors also named her its 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. She received the 2016 ATHENA National Leadership Award.

Monica serves on the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) National Advisory Council and is Board Chair for the Raleigh, North Carolina-based Institute of Consumer Money Management which invests in research on financial literacy. She has been a speaker and a delegate at the Global Summit of Women in Morocco, Germany, China, Chile, Turkey, Greece, France and Switzerland. She is a founding partner in the Women Business Collaborative and serves as chair of the WBC Entrepreneurship Committee.

Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is the editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a national and now global magazine she and her team launched in May 2000 to provide a strong voice for women entrepreneurs. With headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, it is the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women. The magazine provides a friendly meeting place, a public forum and a national stage for the critical issues confronting women’s businesses and daily lives from the unique perspectives and experiences of entrepreneurial women. Published in both print and digital editions, the online edition of the magazine reaches one million readers in 185 countries. The magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020 and is available in print and digital editions, supplemented by The Connector, a blog through the publication’s website at www.enterprisingwomen.com.


“When our team researched the need for a magazine targeted to women entrepreneurs in the late 1990s, the environment for women in business was very different than it is today. Women’s voices were not reflected in the mainstream business publications that existed at that time. Few women were profiled in those publications and even fewer women appeared on the staff lists for those publications. Women seemed largely invisible. We thought it was about time to shine a light on the amazing work that women were doing to start and grow businesses."


Smiley also serves as president of the Enterprising Women Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in 2010 to encourage philanthropy among women entrepreneurs and support initiatives to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship in the U.S. and globally. The Enterprising Women Foundation has also achieved significant growth and recognition since it was founded 10 years ago. They now host mentoring forums for high school girls across the U.S. and Canada, connecting young women mostly from under-served communities with women entrepreneurs from their local community for a two-hour program that includes a panel discussion and small group mentoring to educate and inspire these young women to set high goals for themselves and give them practical guidance to help them achieve their goals. They also offer scholarships to one or two girls who attend each event to come to the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Conference in the Spring. They have built a two-day program for the scholarship recipients that includes leadership training, public speaking and self-confidence building skills, and showcase panels on what it means to be an entrepreneur and opportunities in the STEM fields. Each young woman is matched with three mentors at the conference who are either members of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board or are winners of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

The annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, now in its 19th year, honors the top 100 women entrepreneurs from around the globe at a two-day event held each spring.


“In 2003, we launched the Enterprising Women of the Year Award to recognize women who were leading fast-growth companies, giving back to their communities in significant ways, and mentoring other women or girls. The first year of that program, we recognized just three honorees at an evening reception in Manhattan. Today the program recognizes over 100 women entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and around the globe each year, with businesses from under a million in annual revenues to over a billion in annual revenues. We partner with the major women’s business organizations to identify and recognize these women and host a 2-1/2 day conference that gives participants an opportunity to share best practices and network with the top women entrepreneurs from around the globe."


Monica’s work to economically empower women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and globally aligns with her lifelong passion to work for the advancement of women. An activist for women’s rights since her high school and college years, she served as president of the Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for Women in the early 1980s. As president of the Jackson, Michigan Chapter of NOW in the late 1970s, she led the effort to challenge the local school district to implement Title IX regulations to ensure equal opportunities for girls in the district’s athletic programs, resulting in a number of substantive changes that opened up opportunities for girls in the area. The implementation of Title IX has been heralded as the change that revolutionized opportunities for girls and young women at the high school and collegiate level, paving the way for the changes we now see in the advancement of women in professional athletics and women athletes competing at the Olympics.

Monica serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) and has been a mentor in the Peace Through Business program working with Rwandan and Afghan women entrepreneurs for the past ten years. An award-winning journalist, Smiley has more than 40 years of magazine publishing experience and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 National NAWBO Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award, the first Adrienne Hall Award presented in 2009 by the Women Presidents’ Organization in recognition of her work to build bridges and alliances within the women’s business community, and the President’s Award and Innovator of the Year Award from Women Impacting Public Policy. She received the 2013 Gold Stevie Award for “Women Helping Women” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Difference 100 Award” in recognition of her work to economically empower women around the globe. Folio magazine named Monica to its 2015 list of “Top Women in Media and the “FOLIO 100: Top Leaders in Magazine Media” for 2018.”

Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley
Monica Smiley

In 2015, she was recognized by STEMConnector and the Million Women Mentors Program for her work with the Enterprising Women Foundation’s National Mentorship Initiative to inspire the next generation of Young Enterprising Women. STEMConnector/Million Women Mentors also named her its 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. She received the 2016 ATHENA National Leadership Award.

Monica serves on the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) National Advisory Council and is Board Chair for the Raleigh, North Carolina-based Institute of Consumer Money Management which invests in research on financial literacy. She has been a speaker and a delegate at the Global Summit of Women in Morocco, Germany, China, Chile, Turkey, Greece, France and Switzerland. She is a founding partner in the Women Business Collaborative and serves as chair of the WBC Entrepreneurship Committee.

IN THE NEWS
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IN THE NEWS
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Enterprising Women
Become an Enterprising Women Foundation Member Today
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Enterprising Women
Become an Enterprising Women Foundation Member Today
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
The Enterprising Women Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization and sister organization of Enterprising Women magazine, is hosting a series of mentoring events around the U.S. to connect outstanding high school girls with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with outstanding women entrepreneurs in their local community.

"For so long, women were taught that bossy was a bad thing, when it’s actually leadership. Having this
experience to not only be encouraged to be the leader and be the boss, but to see it done in a forum that’s
only women is so powerful for my young ladies. I am so impressed with the diversity of the Enterprising
Women. Every single one of my young ladies can see themselves in the entrepreneurs. The varied backgrounds
helps them know you can be in biotech, or the sciences, or engineering, and be an entrepreneur."

NANCY CATRELL
Science Teacher, WISE Director, Apex Friendship High School

"Many of the girls in the program come from economically distressed areas and they do not typically have this kind
of opportunity. To expose them to a day of mentoring and STEM activities is a very big opportunity for them."

PURBA MAJUMDER
President, Cybervation

"No one ever talked to these girls about, “How can you grow? How can you make a difference for yourself?"

SHARON HADARY
President, Sharon Hadary & Co.

"This conference definitely had a big impact on me personally and what I would do with the rest of my time in
high school. It helped put me on the map and get myself known to the other individuals in the community."

ISHIKA MUJAMDER
Computer Science Student, University of Michigan

"It’s mentoring. It’s sponsoring. It’s offering internships. It’s the scholarships. It’s the online counseling.
It’s not only helping us as individuals, but by providing the kinds of resources and our sisterhood
that allows us to use our contacts to help others."

EDIE FRASER
CEO, Women Business Collaborative

"The Enterprising Women program is so incredibly important to me. I know what it means to grow up in a
food desert community and to not grow up in my own home. Having real live mentors as I was growing up would
have been extraordinary. This is a program that is going to get our girls to the next level."

SHARON REYNOLDS
President & CEO, DevMar Products, LLC