Recently, Forbes published their 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest people. This year, the company counted a total of 2,755 billionaires around the world. In total, the wealth from this group totals $13.1 trillion, with 660 billionaires emerging in the last year alone.
Most today are aware of big-name rivalries between billionaires. One example is the current ‘race to space’, which has business and tech giants like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk competing to offer the latest and greatest in luxury travel experiences.
But the vast majority of billionaires aren’t celebrities. Many are also heirs to huge businesses, learning the ropes as they grow up before inheriting a global industry. When it comes to the world’s wealthiest women, this is often the case.
In fact, of the ten richest women in the world (also compiled by Forbes) all ten inherited their fortune from husbands and fathers. That being said, there are more and more female billionaires each year who have built their wealth on their own. Here are five of the world’s richest self-made women.
Denise Coates, $12.2 Billion (Britain)
Denise Coates is the CEO and majority shareholder of bet365, one of the world’s leading sportsbooks. Though she had experience from her father, who worked for the same sportsbook, Coates had the idea to launch an online betting site before the competition.
Her idea proved profitable. As of 2021, she’s Britain’s highest-paid CEO. Despite her meteoric rise, Coates hasn’t lost sight of her work. One bet364 sportsbook review highlights the app’s killer reputation, scoring higher than most other US options. It places in the 99th percentile when it comes to capabilities and bonuses.
Meg Whitman, $6.2 Billion (USA)
Today, Meg Whitman is known as a powerhouse of American business. She’s been involved with Walt Disney, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Procter & Gamble, and, most recently, the failed Quibi streaming endeavor.
However, Whitman is known amongst business people for her adept handling of eBay. Between 1998 and 2008, Whitman served as CEO, helping keep the company afloat in the online boom. Her numbers speak for themselves; the company was worth $5.7 million when she took over but had risen to a worth of $8 billion only ten years later.
Johnelle Hunt, $4.3 Billion (USA)
As mentioned above, some billionaires inevitably become a part of pop culture. Their lifestyles make them untouchable, while their antics command public attention. But like Coates, Johnelle Hunt and her husband were nobodies when they started their business back in 1961. In fact, they had to take out loans to start their packaging operation.
Hunt and her husband became some of the wealthiest self-made billionaires in the coming years as their trucking service (J.B. Hunt Transport Services) soared. Hunt remains a hero to many, exemplifying the ‘American Dream’ by becoming one of the world’s richest women after dropping out of college.
Zhong Huijuan, $11.9 Billion (China)
Zhong Huijuan is the wealthiest self-made female billionaire in the world, as of 2021. She and her husband started a pharmaceutical company, though she was a leader early on due to her husband’s busy schedule. Originally, they focused on the production side of medicine, as Huijuan was originally a chemistry teacher.
Though their small company had only ten employees when it was founded in 1995, their company Hansoh Pharmaceutical now produces a range of drugs for global markets.
Thai Lee, $4.1 Billion (Korea/USA)
Thai Lee got her start in business through IT (information technology). Back in 1989, she and her then-husband purchased a software reselling company. With a Harvard master’s degree under her belt and experience with Procter & Gamble, as well as American Express, Lee was able to transform the small company into a worldwide name..
Today, Lee’s company, SHI International, serves major clients like Boeing and AT&T. She also recently joined a bio-pharma company to expand her business reach. Though she’s considered a self-made billionaire, her acumen was greatly influence by her father, who was an economist in South Korea.