An estimated 126 million women started or were running a new business in 2012, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report (GEM). Have your own great idea for a startup? There is an incredible wealth of advice for businesswomen and other entrepreneurs online today.

  • Fast Company shares the best and worst advice that successful U.S. businesswomen say they received as they worked their way to the top. From a fitness company founder to a product manager at Facebook, they tell inspiring stories.
  • The Wall Street Journal warns about advice that can hamper the chances of success in building a business.
  • Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg provides perspectives that are equally valuable to women starting their own business and those beginning a career in a traditional, large company.

Collectively, these nuggets offer a road map for all entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies. In fact, Fast Company believes that the best companies have millennials and women in charge. Of the organizations surveyed, those in the top 20 percent for financial performance had almost twice as many women in leadership roles, as well as more high-potential women holding those roles.

Put simply, gender diversity pays off.

Over the next five years, GEM predicts, millions of businesses owned and run by women will grow by at least six employees. Already, an estimated 48 million female entrepreneurs and 64 million female business owners are employers.

Clearly, women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs play a vital role in today’s global marketplace. In the workplace, women should feel empowered to demand what they are worth, in both their salaries and responsibilities. And creating an environment that nurtures them and allows them to thrive will benefit everyone by generating new jobs and expanding the economy.

Interested in becoming an entrepreneur in your country? Get involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week.