Top 10 Richest Self-Made Women in the World

When it comes to speaking about entrepreneurs, we often describe how there have been many men who have gone on to establish billion-dollar companies and are constantly in the news with their glitzy and glamorous professional lives. But no one really talks about women entrepreneurs and gives them their due when needed.

However, there are a few women who have defied the odds and and have become not just successful entrepreneurs but have also got a golden tag of richest self-made women to their names that makes their achievements even more special.

Here’s presenting to you the list of the top 10 richest self-made women in the world which will inspire every woman reading this that nothing is impossible!

Top 10 Richest Self-Made Women in the World

10. Kim Kardashian- $1 billion

richest self-made women

If you’re a big fan of reality television, you know exactly who this woman is. Be it for her extravagant lifestyle or her relationship with husband Kanye West, Kim Kardashian has always been in the news. Despite being one of the most controversial TV personalities, she has a foray of businesses to her name to amass this fortune.

She is the owner of KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance and went on to launch the 2014 mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. In 2019, she opened her own apparel company named Skims and has also appeared in various films as an actress. With so many sources of income to her name, tell me one reason how she cannot be a billionaire!

9. Whitney Wolfe Herd- $1.6 billion

Credit: A Little Late With Lilly Singh

If I could tell you a tale on how to take rejection positively, there wouldn’t be any better than that of Mrs Herd’s life story. After facing wide-spread discrimination from her previous employers at Tinder, Whitney Wolfe Herd decided to do something which most people wouldn’t even dare to.

She launched Bumble, a dating app where women make the first move and with its novel concept, it became an instant hit among the masses. Today, the app is a direct competitor of Tinder which made Herd’s net worth $1.6 billion as of 2021. She is also the youngest woman to make her company public at NASDAQ, thereby making her one of the richest self-made women in the modern era.

8. Elaine Wynn- $3.7 billion

richest self-made women
Photo: Reuters

Touted as the ‘Queen of Las Vegas’, Elaine Wynn has a rather interesting journey to becoming one of the richest self-made women in the world. She met her husband Steve Wynn during college and used to work at his father’s bingo hall before getting married in 1973.

They eventually moved to Las Vegas where they launched Mirage Resorts in the same year and was fairly successful. They went on to launch Wynn Resorts in 2002 which has an annual turnover worth billions. Unfortunately, her husband had to step down as CEO due to sexual harassment allegations but the company still runs strong under the queen’s leadership.

7. Meg Whitman- $4.8 billion

richest self-made women
Meg Whitman

Featuring at number seven on our list of the richest self-made women in the world is Meg Whitman. You can call her a born CEO for she has been the CEO of multiple companies during her lifetime. She kickstarted her corporate career by taking over the realms of a struggling eBay and had their sales skyrocketing from $5.5 million to $8 billion.

She then went on to join HP as its CEO from 2011-2015 and oversaw many successful changes over there. Whitman is also a Board Member at P&G, Dropbox, and HP and is currently the CEO of mobile media startup NewTV. Now, that’s a prime example of how a born leader looks like!

6. Judy Faulkner- $4.9 billion

Founder of America’s leading medical-record software provider Epic, Judy Faulkner started her business in her basement in 1979. The company attained steadied success and has never raised venture capital or taken over firms in its lifetime.

Epic develops all its software independently and some of their leading clients include Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins. In 2015, she pledged to donate 99% of her wealth to charity during her lifetime and has truly made her one of the most noble personalities alive.

5. Zhang Yin- $6 billion

richest self-made women
Photo: China Daily

Sometimes all it takes is a simple idea which can make you a successful businessperson and Zhang Yin is one of the leading examples of that. Having served as Lieutenant in the Red Army, Yin decided to resign from the post and later worked as a bookkeeper in a textile factory in Guangdong.

That’s where she got the idea of setting up a company that sells recycled paper and moved to Los Angeles to establish America Chung Nam which became a leading paper-selling company. She returned to Hong Kong and set up Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited which has gone on to become one of China’s leading paper manufacturing companies.

4. Diane Hendricks- $8.2 billion

richest self-made women
Diane Hendrick: The New York Times

Here is another American woman featuring on this list of richest self-made women. Diane Hendricks is the chairperson of ABC Supply, the largest American wholesaler in siding, roofing, and windows. She co-founded the company with her husband Ken in 1985 and has been its chairperson since his demise in 2007.

Today, the company has a turnover of nearly $9 billion and is present in over 700 locations. It has also made two major acquisitions, namely Bradco in 2010 and L&W Supply in 2016.

3. Zhou Qunfei- $9.4 billion

Having faced plenty of hardships early on in her life, Zhou Qunfei knows the true value of being a billionaire. She always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer but due to familial and employment issues, she had to quit that job in search of something better.

That’s when her siblings helped her to start her own business and she co-founded Lens Technology, a touchscreen maker along with them. Despite having humble beginnings, the company has become a huge success. Today, it supplies touchscreen glass to companies like Apple, Motorola, and HTC and went on to become China’s largest tech IPO in 2015.

2. Wu Yajun- $18.8 billion

Getting a silver medal in our featurette on the richest self-made women is the CEO of Longfor Properties, Wu Yajun. Coming from a humble background, she initially worked as a journalist before entering the real estate business in the 1990s.

She went on to set up Longfor Properties in 1995 with an initial investment of 10 million Yuan from her husband. The company did very well and has expanded into providing housing in cities like Beijing and Shaghai. She is also the founder of her wealth management firm, Wu Capital and is a member of the National People’s Congress in China.

1. Zhong Huijuan- $22.5 billion

richest self-made women
Photo: Bloomberg

So here’s the moment you’ve desperately been waiting for! Presenting to you the richest self-made woman in the world, Zhong Huijuan! Her success story can be likened to that of Walter White from Breaking Bad (although legal) as she has a majors in Chemistry from Jiangsu Normal University and initially worked as a professor over there.

It was her husband (a billionaire himself) who gave her the idea of setting up her own pharmaceutical firm and she decided to set up Hansoh Pharmaceutical in Lianyungang. The company manufactures various antibiotics and psychotropic drugs and has become a massive success. It went public on the Hong Stock Exchange and gained 1 billion in IPO’s which made her top this list of the richest self-made women in the world.

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