How does spiritual quest relate to the business of life? That question stands out in the remarkable career of Martha Matilda Harper—one of history’s most innovative and accomplished woman entrepreneurs. Our guest is Jane Plitt, who has researched deeply and written extensively on Harper. A businesswoman, activist, and scholar, Plitt reveals how Harper transformed the world of business in her time, with ongoing relevance to our own. She explores the influence of spiritual inspiration in Harper’s innovations, as well as her approach to business leadership. Read more: Women of History: Martha Matilda Harper


Podcast guest

Dr Carol Gluck Jane Plitt is an award-winning speaker and author. Her biography Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream spotlights the forgotten story of Martha Matilda Harper. The creator of modern retail franchising, and a pioneer in social entrepreneurship, Harper was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the American Business Hall of Fame.

A visiting scholar at the University of Rochester since 1996, Plitt earned recognition from the US Small Business Administration as a small business advocate. She won the Small Businessperson of the Year award in 1986. SAVVY magazine cited her as one of 14 outstanding women in New York State. She has been widely published in business, national, and local periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and History News.

Plitt has been a lifelong advocate for civil rights and was the first national executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW).


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