Muy’Ono CEO and Partner Cortney Lebens Makes Inc.’s 2024 Female Founders 250 List

by Khaila Gentle
The Austin-based Muy’Ono Resorts was highlighted for “pioneering sustainability efforts in the tourism industry and investing in host communities in Belize.”

Inc Magazine’s Female Founders 250 List aims to highlight women entrepreneurs making great strides in the world of business. Recognizing founders of companies in industries that run the gamut from cybersecurity to hospitality, the list takes into consideration accomplishments that those businesses have seen in the past year, including in revenue, sales, and growth. The 2024 list marks Inc.’s sixth year of recognizing female founders. Co-founder of Belize’s largest resort collection, Muy’Ono, CEO Cortney Lebens made this year’s list. 

“I am thankful for the dedication and collaboration of my colleagues and partners who have played a crucial role in bringing our ambitious ideas to fruition,” said Liebens. “At Muy’Ono Resorts, we strive to provide unparalleled vacation experiences that honor the rich heritage of Belize.”

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In 2014, Lebens along with Bill Poston founded Muy’Ono Resorts. The Texas-based company over time grew from a single resort to a multi-brand entity with properties found across Belize.  Just last year, Muy’Ono grew even more, adding Slickrock Belize Adventures and The Watermark Belize to their repertoire.

“Being acknowledged as a leading female founder inspires me to further innovate in our philanthropic and sustainable initiatives, as well as in our commitment to celebrating culture and fostering innovation,” noted the CEO and co-founder. “Our goal is to offer every traveler the chance to elevate their travel experiences and create lasting memories.”

Muy’Ono’s Community and Sustainability Efforts

Belize’s Muy’Ono Resorts Have a Number of Philantropy Programs, including Pack for a Purpose. Photo by Muy’Ono

Lebens’ brainchild, Muy’Ono’s Travel Better initiative focuses on creating a more responsible travel experience while protecting Belize’s destinations. Philanthropy programs under the initiative include charity auctions, Pack for a Purpose, and community donations.

Important achievements recognized by Inc. include Muy’Ono Resorts’ prioritization of sustainability and giving back through their ‘Travel Better’ promise. In the last year, Muy’Ono Resorts has donated $183,000 BZD to various Belize schools and non-profit organizations.

Muy’Ono also says that it has made it a priority to safeguard the local environment through sustainable practices at all of its resorts. In a recent press release, the company stated, “These initiatives encompass utilizing natural power sources, implementing rainwater catchment systems, constructing furniture from reclaimed materials, sourcing food locally (including the establishment of their own farm), engaging in waste reduction efforts, and more.”

Inc Magazine’s 2024 Female Founders 250 List

Katy Perry and Morgan McLachlan made the Female Founders 250 for their non-alcoholic apertif company De Soi Co. Photo Credit: Inc. Magazine | Alex G. Harper

“The past year, for many, will go down as one of the hardest ever—between a funding freeze and ad-spending pullback,” says Diana Ransom, Inc. Executive Editor. “The female founders on this year’s list are a testament to what triumph over adversity looks like. They should all be proud of this singular accomplishment.”

Similar: How This One Resort Group Gives Back To The Belize Community

The list of applicants for this year’s Female Founders 250 was an extensive one, says Inc. According to the magazine, to qualify, applicants’ businesses must be a for-profit business, domiciled in the U.S., and independent (not a subsidiary). Thousands of entries were narrowed down through three rounds of judging.

Photos courtesy of Muy’Ono Resorts. Read the entire 2024 Female Founders 250 List here

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