Home » 7 richest Black women in the United States in December 2022

7 richest Black women in the United States in December 2022

by Yusuf Abdulfatai

It was a successful year for Black businesswomen in the United States, as several saw their wealth significantly increase through new deals, acquisitions, and business expansion.

Emma Grede, for example, experienced a significant rise in her net worth. With a current fortune of $360 million, Grede derives her net worth from ventures such as Kim Kardashian’s shapewear brand Skims and size-inclusive fashion brand Good American, which she co-founded with Khloe Kardashian in 2016.

However, not all Black businesswomen in the United States had such fortune this year. Some, like cosmetics billionaire Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, saw their net worth drop due to rising interest rates, the uneven reopening of the pandemic, and market uncertainty caused by the war in Europe. 

Despite these challenges, many Black businesswomen in the United States were able to achieve success and increase their wealth, showcasing their hard work, determination, and resilience.

It is important to recognize and celebrate these achievements, as they inspire and encourage other women of color to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

According to data from Forbes, here is how these businesswomen rank.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Source: Media

Oprah Winfrey, the talk show host turned media mogul, has a net worth of $2.5 billion, making her the wealthiest Black woman in America, according to Forbes.

Oprah has transformed her hit talk show, which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire. To preserve and grow her fortune over time, the leading media mogul has reinvested profits from her show, as well as profits from films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma,” into key assets and entities in the media industry.

This year, Oprah faced some setbacks, including a decrease in her net worth from $2.6 billion at the start of the year. 

Despite these challenges, Oprah’s media empire continues to thrive, thanks to her shrewd business acumen and her determination to succeed.

She recently earned $6.6 million from the sale of her Montecito estate in California, which she had purchased for $10.5 million just a year ago.

2. Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Source: Music and Cosmetics

Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is a successful musician and entrepreneur with a net worth of $1.4 billion. She is the second-richest Black woman in the United States. However, her net worth has declined by $300 million since the beginning of the year, going from $1.7 billion to $1.4 billion.

Fenty’s main source of wealth is her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which she launched in collaboration with LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2017.

The company sells makeup and skincare products on Sephora shelves and online to more than 150 countries, and is expected to bring in over $550 million in revenue in 2020.

In addition to Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has recently filed two applications for Fenty Hair with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, indicating her plans to launch a haircare line under the Fenty brand.

The Fenty Hair collection will include a range of accessories such as hairbands, bows, clips, ribbons, scrunchies, wigs, curlers, pins, brushes, and combs, further expanding the Fenty brand’s presence in the fashion and cosmetics industries.

3. Sheila Johnson

Net worth: $780 million

Source: CableTV

Sheila Johnson is a successful American businesswoman and co-founder of the cable TV channel BET, or Black Entertainment Network.

According to Forbes, she is one of the richest Black women in the United States. Johnson was the first African-American woman to achieve a net worth of at least $1 billion, but her fortune has decreased to $780 million in recent years.

However, data from Forbes shows that her net worth has increased by more than $30 million in the current year, going from $750 million at the beginning of the year to $780 million as of now.

4. Janice Bryant Howroyd

Net worth: $630 million

Source: Workforce Solutions

Janice Bryant Howroyd is a leading businesswoman and one of the richest Black women in the world, with a net worth of $630 million. She founded ActOne in 1978 with just $1,500, including a $900 loan from her mother, and a fax machine and phone. Today, the agency has more than 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 countries.

In 2019, Howroyd released her second book, “Acting Up,” in which she shared her advice for conquering the business world. Her net worth has increased significantly from $285 million in 2020 to its present value of $630 million.

In addition to her successful agency, Howroyd also owns several dozen properties, including commercial rental properties and personal residences. 

5. Beyonce Knowles

Net worth: $450 million

Source: Music, Fashion

Beyonce Knowles is a highly successful musician and one of the wealthiest women in the world, with a net worth of $450 million, according to Forbes.

In addition to her music career, Beyoncé has also had multiple clothing lines, including her activewear line, Ivy Park, which has a partnership with Adidas.

In November 2022, Beyonce received nine new Grammy nominations, bringing her lifetime total to 88 and tying the record for the most nominations in Grammy history. She shares this record with her husband, further solidifying her place as a dominant force in the music industry.

6. Emma Grede

Net worth: $360 million

Source: Fashion

Emma Grede is the founder and CEO of Good American, a premium apparel label in the United States that promotes a healthy body ideal with a full and inclusive size range.

She co-founded the company with Khloé Kardashian in 2016, and it has since become one of the most successful apparel launches in history, with sales reaching upwards of one million dollars on the first day.

Grede was raised in East London by a single mother and began working a paper route at the age of 12, saving her earnings to buy fashion magazines. She later founded fashion and entertainment marketing agency ITB Worldwide in 2008 and became the first Black woman to serve as an investor on the popular ABC series Shark Tank.

7. Serena Williams

Net worth: $260 million

Source: Tennis, Investments

Serena Williams, one of the most successful and wealthy Black women in America, has a net worth of $260 million. Williams is also widely regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, having earned over $94 million in career prize money.

However, Williams’ success extends beyond her achievements on the tennis court. She has also made smart investments through her firm, Serena Ventures, which has invested in over 60 startups.

In March 2022, Serena Ventures raised an initial fund of $111 million. Recently, Williams launched a new company called Will Perform as part of her efforts to enter the booming sports recovery industry. This industry includes both large and small-scale stakeholders, such as wellness centers, sports recovery spas, and gyms.

Since appearing on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women in 2019, Williams’ net worth has increased by $20 million, from $240 million at the start of the year to $260 million at present.

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