Charlotte’s own Michelle Tunno Buelow, Founder of the Buy One, Feed One baby brand, Bella Tunno, made the 2021 Inc. Female Founders 100 list, honoring an exceptional and diverse group of women who powered through adversity in a very tough year and changed the world.
The final list honors entrepreneurs of every age, background, and geography—from very early-stage founders with world-changing ideas to women who have taken companies public, sold them to big buyers, or spent decades building and running their businesses. These women are leading innovative companies in a vast range of global industries, including tech, retail, finance, fitness, health care, consumer products, food, and more.
“I am in awe of the smart, dedicated, passionate women on this list, who are shaking things up and hustling to make the world a better place. When so many strong female leaders are committed to making a difference, the impact is huge,” says Buelow. “I’m honored and humbled to be included, and it’s rewarding to bring awareness to our purpose-driven baby brand on a mission to end childhood hunger.”
Bella Tunno makes bright-colored silicone feeding and teething accessories for children. For every product sold, Bella Tunno donates at least one meal to a hungry child. To date, the brand has donated more than 6.6 million meals to people in need. Food insecurity in children is a passion point for Buelow because it can be linked to addiction later in life. She lost her brother, Matt, to an accidental overdose in 2003. She started Bella Tunno in 2005 as a means to create a charitable fund to help other vulnerable children break destructive cycles, and to leave a legacy for Matt. Bella Tunno is B-Corp Certified, which means it’s using the business as a force for good, and that purpose and profit are of equal importance.
Inc. editors and writers went through thousands of impressive applications that revealed how so many female founders triumphed in a year filled with challenges. The result is an incredible list of founders who have improvised, adapted, and made something from nothing. They join game-changing past honorees Jessica Alba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes, and more. Taken together, they represent the female-led future of business.
“The 100 women highlighted on this list are inspiring, creative, tenacious, and trailblazing role models in entrepreneurship. What’s more is they were able to achieve success during one of the toughest years ever. That’s something certainly worth celebrating,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk.
Introduced in 2018, the Female Founders 100 list quickly became one of Inc.’s most esteemed franchises. Inc.’s Female Founders 100 issue (October 2021) is available online and hits newsstands October 5. Click here to read Michelle Tunno Buelow’s Inc. feature.
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