15 Women Entrepreneurs Who Made It Real Big And Powerful
Did you know that for every dollar invested, women-founded businesses tend to generate twice the revenue compared to the ones founded by men? Isn’t that fascinating? Yet, many female entrepreneurs don’t get their fair share of the spotlight.
The richest and the most powerful ladies in the world today represent several industries, including food & beverage, fashion, retail, real estate, automobile, and more. It is high time we celebrate the success stories of the ladies who made it big in their respective fields.
Kudos to these 15 women entrepreneurs listed below (and several others worldwide), for taking the world by storm.
1. Gina Rinehart
Chairman of Hancock Prospecting
Counted among the most influential people worldwide, Gina is a mining magnate and company chairman of Hancock Prospecting. She has been credited for taking the company to the heights it is now on. The company was founded by her father Lang Hancock, who went bankrupt after establishing it. Gina worked hard to go from ground zero to sky-high by re-inventing what mining as an occupation meant in Australia. She became the world’s richest woman from 2011 – 2015.
2. Denise Coates
Founder and Chief Executive of Bet365
Being the founder and CEO of an online betting company is not an easy task; you have to be on your toes all the time. Hats off to Denise Coates for making it this big since her first job as an accountant of Provincial Racing. After that, she took over several of her family’s betting shops to ultimately sell them off to book Coral. Once the establishment showed success in 2000, she booked the domain Bet365.com and made it live within a year. Since then, there was no looking back, and now Coates owns about half of the privately-held company.
3. Wang Laichun – 6.5 b
Chairwoman and Co-owner of Luxshare Precision Industry
Wang Laichun is one of the world’s youngest self-made women billionaires. She is the owner and chairwoman of the Luxshare Precision Industry that supplies parts to Apple Inc. Wang used to work for Terry Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry and quit the organization after a long span of 10 years to build a team with her brother Wang Laisheng and establish Luxshare. An EMBA from Tsinghua University Beijing, her journey through the industry has been immensely inspirational.
4. Oprah Winfrey
TV Host and Creator of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Producer, Philanthropist
Oprah was ranked as the most influential woman in the world in 2007 for her inspirational life and contribution to the media and tabloid world. She ran her exclusive talk show that aired for 25 long seasons between 1986 and 2011. Her show was all about women empowerment, focusing on literature, self-improvement, mindfulness, and spirituality. Oprah was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2013 and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard. She is the founder and owner of her network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) since 2008. Oprah is the winner of several accolades in her career: 18 Daytime Emmy Awards, 2 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, a Peabody Award, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, awarded by the Academy Awards, and the recipient of two additional Academy Award nominations.
5. Sheryl Sandberg
Founder of LeanIn.Org and COO of Facebook
Sheryl made a name for herself when she was included in the Board of Directors of Facebook in 2008. It was a tough time for Facebook, and after Sheryl came, she soon started to figure out ways to make Facebook profitable. Soon, the user count of the social media platform jumped more than ten times, offering the company an enormous profit. She was also a part of the Time 100: Most Influential People In The World 2012.
6. Sara Blakely
Founder of Spanx
Sara Blakely is the founder and owner of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company founded in Atlanta. She was enlisted under Time’s magazine’s Time 100: Most Influential People In The World in 2012. She got a spot as the 93rd Most Powerful Woman in the World in a list by Forbes. A bachelor degree holder from Florida State University, Sara started as the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team along with Toney Ressler. She justifiably made it to the 23rd Self-Made Woman of America and featured on the cover page of Forbes magazine as the Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire in the world.
7. Cher Wang
Co-Founder and Chairperson of HTC and integrated chipset maker VIA Technologies
Cher Wang is best known for her contribution to the world of technology. Often listed under the Most Influential and Successful Women Entrepreneurs in Tech. Originally from Taiwan, she holds degrees from Preparatory School in Oakland and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California. Her journey began from First International Computer, after which she founded VIA in 1987 and co-founded HTC in 1997. Today, HTC stands as one of the top competing mobile manufacturing companies across the globe. She is the proud title holder of the Most Powerful Woman, twice, in 2012 and in 2014.
8. Folorunsho Alakija
Group Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group and the VC of Famfa Oil Limited
Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian billionaire woman entrepreneur who rules the fashion industry, real-estate, and printing industries in her home country. She started with a fashion label named Supreme Stitches, which soon became a household name as Rose of Sharon House. She made her mark as the National President and Lifelong Trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN). She was awarded an oil prospecting license by the Nigerian government, where she did full justice. Alakija ranked as the richest woman in Nigeria by Forbes. She was also listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa and found a spot among the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
9. Susan Wojcicki
CEO of YouTube
Susan Wojcicki was among the founding members of Google and became Google’s first marketing manager in 1999. In 2006, Wojcicki proposed the acquisition of YouTube by Google, and since 2014, she has been serving as the CEO of YouTube. The company’s net worth is a whopping 90 billion dollars. She was Forbes’s 12th Most Powerful Woman in the World and 44th America’s Self-Made Woman for her contribution to YouTube and Google. She has also worked at Intel as a management consultant in the initial days of her career.
Founder of Parkwood Entertainment, Owner of Ivy Park, Singer, Record Producer
Keeping in mind that the music industry is widely ruled by Beyonce, the primary sector and income of the pop singer is music and recording house. However, beyond all the awards and recognition Beyonce has received for her contribution to the world of music, she has made a huge fortune from other ventures like endorsements, investments, and her own clothing line Ivy Park. She is also the owner of the American management and entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment. All these and more make her one of the most influential and powerful women in the world.
Founder and Owner of Fenty Beauty and Clara Lionel Foundation (Non-Profit Organization), Singer
Rihanna is best known as one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Apart from the accolades for the contribution in the world of music and entertainment, she has made it big as a businesswoman. Rihanna runs three organizations where Fenty Beauty and Fenty are a cosmetic brand and a luxury fashion house respectively, while Clara Lionel Foundation is the non-profit organization that funds educational and emergency response programs. Time magazine has named Fenty Beauty as one of “The 25 Best Inventions of 2017”. The Grammy Award winner also bagged the CFDA Fashion Award in 2014.
12. Debbi Fields
Founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries
Debbi Fields is the founder of one of the largest retailers of fresh cookies in the USA. Since Mrs. Fields Bakery was founded in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, the bakery has expanded into a chain of 650 retail bakeries in the United States and over 80 more in 11 different countries. Debbi also began franchising in 1990. She later had sold her business to an investment group in the early 1990s, yet she remains a spokesperson of the bakery chain.
13. Sofia Vergara
Co-founder of Latin World Entertainment, Actress, Model
Sofia Vergara is a talented actress and model best known for playing the character of Gloria in Modern Family and her endorsements for brands like Head & Shoulders, Diet Pepsi, and Cover Girl. She is also a successful female entrepreneur and an influential lady in the world. She is the founder of Latin World Entertainment, a talent management, production company, and entertainment marketing firm, with offices in Beverly Hills and Miami. It is a multi-service organization that includes publicity, licensing, endorsements, brand integration, production, and content development.
14. Arianna Huffington
Co-founder of The Huffington Post, Founder, and CEO of Thrive Global, Author
Arianna has made it to Time Magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list for her contribution to literature and media. She co-founded The Huffington Post with her then-husband Republican congressman Michael Huffington, but the company was sold to AOL in 2011 and is now owned by Verizon Media. Post the acquisition, she continued as the President and Editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group and the AOL properties, including AOL Music, Engadget, Patch Media, and StyleList. Later in 2016, she stepped down from the post and started devoting time to her start-up, Thrive Global, a health and wellness organization.
15. Indra Nooyi
Ex-CEO of PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business tycoon, famous for her position as business executive and former CEO of PepsiCo. She consistently found a spot among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and in 2014, made it to Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She was also named as the 2nd Most Powerful Woman on Fortune’s list in 2015. In 2017, she was named as the Second Most Powerful Woman on Forbes’ list of 19 Most Powerful Women in Business. She has made an unparalleled contribution to the organization’s global strategy for more than a decade to bring it to the heights to where it is today.