Throughout history, women have had to fight against lots of societal and economic barriers in order to achieve financial independence, something which they've done so well and with so much resilience that today, merely 60-something years after they won their right to open a bank account, many of them are making their way into Forbes' billionaires' list.
So today, I'll be talking about some of the richest female entrepreneurs leading their respective industries.
11 of the world's richest female entrepreneurs include Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, Alice Walton, MacKenzie Scott, Diane Hendricks, Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Daniella Pierson, Miki Agrawal, and Ju Rhyu. They have an accumulative net worth of over $200 billion.
Before I start discussing these women and their impressive achievements, I want to note that this list isn't compiled based on net worth alone. Given that you can easily google and find the wealthiest women in the world ranked by their net worth on countless websites, in this piece, I wanted to also celebrate the success of some women who haven't quite reached "billionaire" status yet but are still fantastic entrepreneurs. With that out of the way, let's begin!
1. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
I couldn't start off the list without mentioning Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world and sitting vice chairman of L'Oreal Cosmetics. The French businesswoman has inherited the business and continued to expand it across the globe as the company's stocks reach all-time highs.
Françoise is also a pianist, writer, and philanthropist, adding some dimension to her already impressive resume. With a net worth of ~ $75 billion, she comfortably holds the No. 1 spot as the wealthiest woman in the world.
2. Alice Walton
Alice Walton holds the title of the second-richest woman in the world, right after Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. Her current net worth sits at an astounding $65 billion, which has seen a large increase since the appreciation of Walmart stocks, of which Alice is one of the main shareholders.
In fact, she held the title of the richest woman in the world for several years until she lost it to Meyers in 2020.
3. MacKenzie Scott
MacKenzie Scott has garnered a lot of recognition throughout her marriage to Jeff Bezos; however, what many might not know is that she was actually an integral part of the company's success, working side by side with her ex-husband as the one working on the company's accounts, business plan, and marketing strategies.
That's why when their marriage came to an end, she left with her fair share of Amazon stocks, which have allowed her to accumulate a net worth of almost $44 billion. However, it's worth noting that MacKenzie Scott is also one of the most generous philanthropists on this list (and in all of history, for that matter), as she has donated over $12.5B of her wealth in less than two years.
4. Oprah Winfrey
Let's move on to another one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, someone you probably already know and love - Oprah Winfrey. She has truly made history through her hard work following her fantastic run at "The Oprah Winfrey Show", with a series of ventures that have proven to be extremely successful.
Her immense success is mirrored by her $2.6 billion net worth. The change she's made to the television and business world has inspired millions of other women, especially women of color, to believe in their strengths and talents and monetize them as they see fit.
Rihanna is one of the only people that has made the transition from music star to successful entrepreneur in their own right seem so easy. The singer now boasts a net worth of ~ $1.8 billion, becoming the richest musician in the world.
Her massive success has been amassed thanks to her three companies - Savage X Fenty, Fenty, and Fenty Beauty. All three brands have turned into household names in a matter of years, which is more than what can be said for most companies market, especially those created by singers or actors who don't already have strong links to the business world.
The beauty mogul proved skeptics wrong, though, as her most successful company, Fenty Beauty, has recently reached all-time high prices. Given that Rihanna's the main shareholder of Fenty Beauty, her wealth grows along with her brand.
The singer has also created a non-profit named the Clara Lionel Foundation in an effort to give back not only to her community but to the entire world.
6. Diane Hendricks
The success that women in business achieve is always something to celebrate, but what Diane Hendricks has accomplished through her ventures is nothing short of awe-worthy. She is currently the richest woman in business (in the United States), and that title doesn't come easy.
Her net worth hovers around $13 billion, and that's all thanks to ABC Supply, the company of which she's co-founder and current president.
She co-founded the roofing company back in 1982 along with her husband, Ken Hendricks. Since his death in 2007, Diane has been running the company independently.
Since then, ABC stocks have gone up in value eight times, experiencing increases even during times of economic recession, which speaks to Diane's ability as an industry leader who knows her market.
It's also important to note that she led her company through what is known as the biggest acquisitions in history. In 2010, she bought out her company's main competitor Bradco. A mere six years later, she acquired L&W Supply, a material distributor, which allowed for vertical integration.
I don't even have to introduce Beyonce as the singer, songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur that she is; chances are you already know all that. However, I couldn't compile a list of some of the world's wealthiest female entrepreneurs and not include one of the most influential women in the world.
Since her debut in the 90s, the singer has accumulated a net worth of ~ $500 million. Though she's not as active in the entertainment scene anymore, her earnings from royalties, as well as several business ventures she has undertaken, keep her wealth growing every year.
She's the founder of Parkwood Entertainment, a production and entertainment company that brings in millions in revenue every year. Moreover, she has signed several multi-million dollar endorsement deals with brands, such as Adidas, for example, who now carry Beyonce's Ivy Park line.
However, that's far from the only lucrative endorsement deal that Beyonce has signed. She has also famously worked with Pepsi and several cosmetic and fashion companies, such as L'Oreal, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, and H&M.
8. Daniella Pierson
If you've checked out Forbes' issue on the wealthiest women of color in the US, you're probably already familiar with Daniella Pierson, whose net worth has reached an impressive $220 million.
She's best known for co-founding Wondermind, a mental health service that's taken the world by storm. However, her entrepreneurial talents became clear when she was a 19-year-old student. That's when she founded "The Newsette".
The company really came from humble beginnings - in 2015, Daniella decided to create a newsletter simply because she didn't have the time to visit her favorite websites. That's why she decided to make a single space where women could go and check out every update and trend they wanted to, whether it was related to business, culture, fashion, or beauty.
However, she still did her best to reach as many people as possible through her newsletter, printing out hundreds of copies just to give them out for free or spread them among her Boston University classmates.
Once she started advertising, she was able to turn what once was a humble magazine created by a college student into a business that generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Born in 1995, Daniella is one of the youngest self-made female entrepreneurs, boasting a 9-figure fortune and two wildly successful companies.
Speaking of her two successful companies, let's go back to Wondermind, which Danielle founded alongside Mandy Teefey (Selena Gomez's mother) and Selena Gomez herself. The company attempts to break barriers when it comes to mental health resources and help, and it has been very successful in doing so, generating millions of dollars in revenue even in its first years.
9. Selena Gomez
Since I've already mentioned one of her entrepreneurial undertakings, I wanted to take the time to talk about Selena Gomez as one of the most successful women in entertainment.
Not only is she one of the most influential and beloved people in pop culture right now, but she's also a wildly successful businesswoman with a net worth that hovers close to $100 million.
Though Gomez has accumulated most of her wealth through her decades-old career in singing and acting, she's recently invested herself into business features, (co) founding Wondermind and Rare Beauty.
Since I've already covered the former, I want to focus a bit on the latter, which has taken the beauty industry by storm. Though all Rare Beauty products have been well-received by the public, the company's blushes and highlights have especially been beloved by makeup lovers, helping the company achieve record-level growth.
Rare Beauty has been able to generate millions of dollars in revenue since its first few years, which is no easy feat, increasing its sales and financial success from each year to the next.
10. Ju Rhyu
Ju Rhyu is co-founder and sitting CEO of Hero Cosmetics, a brand that draws from Korean skincare products and methods to offer customers an affordable and effective solution to some of their biggest skincare issues. The company was founded in 2017, originally selling one single product. Its quality was so well-received that the brand expanded and now sells 25 products, with the premise of expanding even more in the future.
Rhyu has gained her experience through years of professional success working for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Samsung, American Express, and Kraft Foods. Her net worth is well within seven figures, with her skincare company alone bringing in millions of dollars in revenue annually.
11. Miki Agrawal
Miki Agrawal is a successful entrepreneur and founder of several multi-million dollar companies:
All three brands were created to help women deal with their bodily functions in a safe, efficient way. That's why every product Agrawal has created has been designed to offer the utmost quality and convenience.
Aside from being a successful businesswoman with a net worth of $2 million, Agrawal is also a best-selling author, having published two #1 books:
She's one of the youngest entrepreneurs on this list, yet she has accumulated tens of years of experience under her belt, as her entrepreneurial spirit has been pushing her to take chances since she was a teen, and it has obviously all paid off. Her three companies (Wild, Thinx, and Tushy) are accumulatively valued at a whopping $200 million.
Her companies aren't only wildly successful undertakings; they're also a platform for their owner and other women just like her to challenge the societal status quo. Agrawal talks with just as much passion about her business undertakings as she does about her efforts to contribute to disruptive innovation.
Who Is the Youngest Most Successful Woman in Business Right Now?
The youngest and most successful woman in business right now is considered to be Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of the dating app "Bumble." At the beginning of 2021, she became the youngest female self-made billionaire, at only 31 years old. Her net worth is approximately $1.5 billion.
Whitney has broken several financial records during her run as Bumble CEO, so I highly recommend doing some research on her life.
Who Is the Most Successful Female Entrepreneur?
The most successful female entrepreneur is Oprah Winfrey. She's one of the few self-made female billionaires in the world, with a net worth of approximately $2.6 billion. She has co-founded Oxygen Media and owns a cable network named OWN, both of which are wildly successful.
Who Are the Richest Women in Business / Entrepreneurs?
Some of the richest women in business are Falguni Nayar, Zhou Qunfei, Cheng Xue, Denise Coates, Diane Hendricks, Chen Lihua, Zhong Huijan, Wang Laichun, Fan Hongwei, and Wu Yajun. These women are all entrepreneurs and self-made billionaires, leading multi-billion-dollar companies.
If you're looking to get started on your own entrepreneurial journey, make sure to check out the book Your Hype Girl, which includes tips and strategies from some of the most successful female entrepreneurs.
These 11 women represent the pinnacle of entrepreneurial success, each carving out their own unique path in a variety of industries. They have shattered glass ceilings, disrupted norms, and proven that women can not only compete in the world of business but also lead and innovate.
Their stories are a testament to the power of resilience, creativity, and sheer determination.
From the world of cosmetics to the music industry, from technology to philanthropy, these women have left indelible marks.
They are not just successful entrepreneurs; they are trailblazers who have paved the way for future generations of women to dream bigger and reach higher.
As we celebrate their achievements, we also look forward to the future, to a world where women in business are not the exception but the norm. A world where every woman, regardless of her background, has the opportunity to bring her ideas to life and achieve her entrepreneurial dreams.
So, who will be the next woman to join their ranks? Who will be the next to disrupt an industry, innovate, and reach the heights of success? The world is waiting, and the future is indeed female.