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The brownies at left come from our post on “Brilliant Business Ideas,” while Paty Funegra and her crew at La Cocina VA are part of our Awesome Latinx Entrepreneurs coverage. Meanwhile, that lovely lady at bottom is a non-fungible token (NFT). (Credit: Noel Flego, from images supplied by companies.)

If there is any theme to our most-read stories of 2022, it’s this: People are seeking inspiration, perhaps now more than ever.

For the second year in a row, our top story of 2022 was about the best leadership qualities that entrepreneurial women should possess. You also really liked our “Brilliant Business Ideas” roundup, and of course, any list of “best books to read, right now.” We’re particularly pleased that you liked our inclusive listicles of motivational quotes from Latinx and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

Here are the most-read stories on The Story Exchange in 2022.

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Leadership requires a balance of caution and kindness. [Credit: Vlada Karpovich // Pexels]

4 Leadership Qualities Business Owners Should Strive For in 2022

Having a growth mindset and committing to execution are qualities of a great leader.

There is a common denominator every small business owner has in common. It’s the livelihood of the business. Owners take what started as a glimmer of an idea and turn it into a solution that helps address everyday problems.

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2

Ericka Mabrie and Alexa Lombardo's Zippy Pantry sells goods with health in mind.

12 Brilliant Business Ideas from Women Entrepreneurs

Presenting: The Story Exchange’s first-ever list celebrating innovative startup ideas from women-led companies.

We wanted to hear from all the women out there who were struck by inspiration – and maybe necessity – to pour their blood, sweat and tears into a nugget of an idea that could become The Next Big Thing.

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3

Paty Funegra of La Cocina VA is one of seven Latinx entreprenuers who inspires us. (Credit: La Cocina VA)

7 Motivational Quotes from Awesome Latinx Entrepreneurs

Need a boost? For Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re sharing inspirational words from successful entrepreneurs in this 2 million-strong community.

National Hispanic Heritage Month honors people with roots to Latin America and Spain who have helped the U.S. flourish – quite literally, in the case of Latina entrepreneurs.

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4

Kick back with these summer reads we've scouted out. (Image: Unsplash)

Escape to the Beach (or Anywhere, Really) with These Women-Centric Summer Reads

From a new memoir by Viola Davis to a novel about dating from humor writer Sloane Crosley, these books should have you covered. 

We all need an escape, so let these new summer reads transport you somewhere … far away from our current reality.

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In honor of Pride Month, and of the businesses the women of this world have started, we’re sharing words of wisdom from five of our favorite LGBTQ entrepreneurs. (Credit: Pixabay)

6 Motivational Quotes From Awesome LGBTQ Entrepreneurs

For LGBTQ Pride Month, we shared words of wisdom from successful entrepreneurs in this 1.4 million-strong community.

Pride Month is held each year to mark the 1969 Stonewall riots and the beginning of the movement to end discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ community. The month also commemorates the significant impact that members of the LGBTQ community have had in arts, culture, society and of course, business.

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6

Katie Couric inspired us to gather other influential women who have fought breast cancer. (Credit: Jesse Batson, Flickr)

6 Motivational Quotes from Influential Breast Cancer Survivors

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we shared influential survivors’ wise words.

Katie Couric, celebrated journalist and founder of Katie Couric Media, shared on Sept. 28 that she had been fighting breast cancer since a diagnosis in June. And her announcement came less than 2 months after the death of singer and breast cancer awareness activist Olivia Newton-John.

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Women digital artists like Lili Tae are having trouble breaking into the NFT art world. L’Oreal Paris USA is trying to help. (Credit: Lili Tae and L’Oreal Paris USA. Image cropped for publication.)

L’Oreal Paris USA is Helping Women Artists Get In On the NFT Boom

For the most part, it’s been men making money in this emerging digital industry. The cosmetics giant wants to change that. (We’ll also explain what an NFT is.)

L’Oreal Paris USA wants to give a big boost to women artists in the NFT market. The cosmetics giant recently announced an auction of NFT digital works crafted by five online creators — Amber Vittoria, Arina BB, Hueman, Lili Tae and Puks.

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8

Gwyneth Paltrow says "the lack of attention and solid guidance" paid to menopause is shocking. (Credit: Michael Mayer via Flickr.)

Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore Just Invested in a Menopause Startup

It’s about time. Some powerful ladies are making the marketplace care about women’s health care.

A group of celebrity investors —  Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore — have invested in telehealth startup Evernow, which focuses on relieving menopausal symptoms. 

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The cast of 2019 rom-com “Long Shot” – one of several movies saving us from languishing into the new year. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

8 Great Shows and Films Featuring Strong Women to Scope Out in 2022

Your New Year’s resolution: Watch something you’ll truly enjoy.

We’ve pulled together a list of recent movies and television shows that have brought us some joy and laughter, and that can easily be found online for your viewing pleasure. Scroll on to read about some of our staff favorites – all of which, of course, feature dynamic, complex women characters.

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The pandemic has left a mental strain on small business owners. The good news is you can recover. (Photo: Tim Foster on Unsplash)

3 Ways Business Owners Can Stay Optimistic as Pandemic Drags On

Here are some simple strategies for getting back your upbeat mind frame.

It’s unquestionable that small business owners are natural optimists who, as Winston Churchill said, “see the opportunity in every difficulty.” Why else would they risk everything—their money, their time, their ego—to start and run a business?

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