Faces of KNOW: Mary Cantando

Mary Cantando is the Founder of The Woman’s Advantage Forum and 2018 KNOW Raleigh Featuree.

Mary started, led, and expanded a multibillion-dollar business for over 25 years. An internationally acclaimed author, speaker and consultant, she helps women start and grow businesses.

The author of seven books and hundreds of magazine articles, she’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Oprah Magazine, and countless TV and radio shows.

The Woman’s Advantage Forum helps women with small businesses grow to the million-dollar level. She is honored to have served as an Envoy of the US State Department, helping women in developing countries start and grow microbusinesses.

In 2018, Mary was inducted into the unaugural class of the North Carolina Woman Business Owners’ Hall of Fame.

A mother, grandmother, and self-proclaimed “high-maintenance wife,” Mary lives in Raleigh with her husband who she refers to as “Saint John” for putting up with her for 48 years.


We asked Mary to share FIVE FUN FACTS about herself in order to get to KNOW her better.

1. I’ve written seven books for women about how to start and grow a business.

2. I’ve worked in Africa and Eastern Europe as an Envoy of the US State Department in helping women start microbusinesses.

3. When something negative happens in my life, I always ask, “How can I make this work FOR me rather than AGAINST me?”

4. For several years, I was a speaker on cruise ships; my husband and I love to cruise and are taking a two-week river cruise across France this summer.

5. I have a bumper sticker on my car that reads: “Absolute abundance constantly circulates through my life.” And it does!

To connect with Mary, you can visit her on her website at:


Mary can be found on page 85 of our 2018 KNOW Raleigh Book.