Forbes released its fifth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women on June 4th, 2019, which has expanded to 80, a third more than a year ago, a reflection of the fact that women are creating more new businesses and amassing fortunes than ever before.
The 80 women featured have a combined net worth of $81.3 billion. Individuals have made their fortunes in a multitude of industries including entertainment, healthcare, science and technology, cosmetics, fashion and many more.
The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list is $225 million.
For the second year in a row, Diane Hendricks, co-founder, and chairperson of ABC Supply, the nation’s largest roofing distributor, has claimed the top spot on the list with a net worth of $7 billion, up to $2.1 billion over the previous year due to record sales at the company. Meg Whitman, CEO of video startup Quibi, increased her fortune to $3.8 billion to overtake the No. 2 spot from Marian Ilitch of the Little Caesars pizza chain, who fell to No. 3 with $3.7 billion. Rounding out the top 5 is Epic Systems’ Judy Faulkner, with a net worth of $3.6 billion and Thai Lee, owner of IT supplier SHI, with $3 billion.
“This year, we expanded the number of individuals on our list by a third as more women have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and blazed their own trails to success,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes’ Assistant Managing Editor.
“Some created unique products that have taken off with consumers, others used their business skills to grow emerging companies to new heights, and others capitalized on their existing fame to create brands that dominate their respective industries. This year, in particular, we’re seeing the breadth of these women’s reach,” she added.
ON THE COVER: Newcomer Serena Williams, the tennis ace who has earned $340 million in prize money during her 24-year professional career, is now breaking into venture capital with the launch of Serena Ventures. The company is devoted to investing in companies led by women and people of color, with a focus on brands that promote individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity. Williams and her sister Venus are no strangers to the business world and made history in 2009 when they became minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first African American woman to hold any ownership in an NFL franchise.
The 2019 America’s Richest Self-Made Women list includes sixteen newcomers, bringing nearly $5.5 billion in combined wealth to the ranks. Notable newcomers include Young Sohn (No. 30, $840 million), co-founder of software firm Velocity and tech mogul; Rihanna (No. 37, $600 million), musician and Fenty cosmetics co-owner; Katrina Lake (No. 55, $380 million), founder of Stitch Fix; Ellen DeGeneres (No. 63, $330 million) comedian and television personality; Whitney Wolfe Herd (No. 72, $290 million), founder and CEO of dating app Bumble; and Reese Witherspoon (No.77, $240 million), actress and producer.
For the complete list and more, visit their website: www.forbes.com/self-made-women