Despite the recent stock market volatility and the impact of risks from inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war on businesses and financial assets, America’s self-made Black businesswomen have weathered the storm, while breaking down barriers and increasing female participation in male-dominated industries.
The following is a list of America’s wealthiest Black women as compiled by Billionaires.Africa.
The ranking was created using data from U.S. business magazine Forbes’ recent ranking of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, which includes entrepreneurs, executives, and entertainers.
Only seven of the 100 self-made ultra-wealthy American women tracked by Forbes were African-American, and they account for $6.68 billion of the trailblazers’ total net worth of $111 billion.
The most recent addition to the list is American businesswoman Emma Grede, whose $360-million fortune stems from a variety of ventures, including Kim Kardashian’s shapewear brands, Skims, and Good American, the size-inclusive fashion brand she co-founded with Khloe Kardashian in 2016.
#1 Oprah Winfrey
Net worth: $2.5 billion
With a net worth of $2.5 billion, Oprah Gail Winfrey, a talk show host turned media mogul, is 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.
Her net worth has dropped from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion since the start of the year.
#2 Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty
Net worth: $1.7 billion
Source: Music and Cosmetics
With a net worth of $1.7 billion, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, a renowned musician and cosmetics billionaire dubbed the world’s youngest Black billionaire, is the second-richest Black woman in the United States.
The majority of her $1.7-billion fortune stems from her ownership of Fenty Beauty, a rapidly expanding cosmetics company that sells her makeup and skincare products on Sephora shelves in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, and the Middle East, as well as online to more than 150 countries.
Rihanna’s cosmetics line debuted in 2017 as part of a collaboration with the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The company’s revenue will exceed $550 million in 2020.
#3 Sheila Johnson
Net worth: $780 million
Sheila Johnson, an American businesswoman who co-founded the cable TV channel BET, or Black Entertainment Network, in 1979, is one of the richest Black women in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of $780 million.
Despite being the first African-American woman to have a net worth of at least $1 billion, Johnson’s fortune has fallen from $1 billion to $780 million in recent years.
#4 Janice Bryant Howroyd
Net worth: $630 million
Source: Workforce Solutions
Janice Bryant Howroyd, the leading businesswoman who founded ActOne in 1978 with $1,500 (including a $900 loan from her mother), is one of the richest Black women in the world, with a net worth of $630 million.
Howroyd’s net worth has increased from $285 million in 2020 to $630 million at the time of writing this report. She also owns several dozen properties, including commercial rental properties and residences.
#5 Beyonce Knowles
Net worth: $450 million
Beyonce Knowles, who made a significant portion of her fortune as a musician, is one of the world’s wealthiest women, with a net worth of $450 million, according to Forbes.
Beyonce has had multiple clothing lines in addition to her successful music career, the most recent being the activewear line Ivy Park, which has an existing partnership with German multinational sportswear maker Adidas.
#6 Emma Grede
Net worth: $360 million
Emma Grede is the founder and CEO of Good American, a premium apparel label based in the United States that promotes a healthy body ideal with a full and inclusive size range.
She co-founded the company with Khloe Kardashian in 2016. The launch of Good American in October 2016 proved to be the largest apparel launch in history, with sales reaching upwards of one million dollars on the first day, demonstrating a gap in the market prior to Good American’s arrival.
#7 Serena Williams
Net worth: $260 million
Serena Williams, who has been hampered by injuries as she pursues a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, is one of the world’s wealthiest women, with a net worth of $260 million.
Despite earning $94 million in career prize money, more than any other female athlete, Williams has invested in more than 60 startups through her firm, Serena Ventures. Her firm raised an $111-million initial fund in March 2022.
Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi loses nearly $1 billion this year
Al-Amoudi has lost his position as Africa’s sixth-richest man to Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga.
Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi has seen his net worth drop by about $1 billion since the start of the year, as the market value of his industrial assets, which include prestigious Swedish oil companies, continues to plummet, closely mirroring the drop in European stocks.
Al-Amoudi, a leading billionaire who was the wealthiest Black person in the world until he was dethroned by Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote in 2013, derives the majority of his net worth from an assortment of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia.
His net worth has dropped from $6.71 billion at the start of this year to $5.73 billion as of the time of drafting this report, according to data gathered from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This translates to a loss of almost $1 billion ($981 million) for the Ethiopian billionaire this year.
The performance of his industrial assets, particularly his stakes in Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, and Svenska Petroleum Exploration, another Swedish oil and gas exploration, and production business, can be traced to the billion-dollar decline in his net worth.
Al-Amoudi’s recent loss places him on a select list of African billionaires who have all seen their net worth fall by more than $500 million so far this year, including South African billionaire Johann Rupert, Swazi billionaire Natie Kirsh, and Zimbabwean tech tycoon Strive Masiyiwa.
As a result of the poor financial performance of his prime oil assets, Preem, the market value of his position in the leading oil refiner has fallen from $1.7 billion to $1.26 billion since 2022 began.
Queen’s bank honors Somali tycoon Abdirashid Duale for contribution to financial sector
His company Dahabshiil has grown into a leading African money transfer business.
Somali tycoon Abdirashid Duale has received yet another award for his good works. This time, it was at the Platinum Jubilee beacon-lighting event, as the Queen’s bank Coutts in London honored him for his contribution to the growth of the financial sector.
The Platinum Jubilee, which was celebrated across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, was a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s unifying power.
The world’s eighth-oldest bank, Coutts invited Duale in recognition of “the fantastic work” that he has done in the financial sector, with the businessman accepting the honor and reflecting on his company Dahabshiil’s performance thus far.
While accepting the honor, Duale stated: “Dahabshiil embodies this spirit. From small beginnings, we have built ourselves into a global business, creating jobs and supplying lifeline services whereby African diaspora communities can help their families and invest in businesses back home.”
This comes nearly three weeks after Dahabshil received two Global Good Governance awards from Cambridge IFA, a London-based financial consultancy firm, for its money transfer services to the diaspora.
Dahabshiil, an indigenous African company, was founded in 1970 as a remittance venture to allow migrants to send money home to family and friends in East Africa. Dahabshiil’s services are especially important now, with the worst drought in 40 years ravaging East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Since its inception more than five decades ago, Dahabshiil has grown into a leading African money transfer business under the leadership of Duale, as the company facilitates transactions across 126 countries worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa.
Dahabshiil provides money transfer and banking services to businesses and global organizations such as the UN, World Bank, Oxfam, and Save the Children, as clients rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services to their employees, contractors, government institutions, and partner NGOs.
Somali tycoon Abdirashid Duale’s Dahabshiil wins UK Global Good Governance award
Duale said the awards highlight the company’s socioeconomic development work.
Dahabshiil, an international money transfer corporation led by Somali multimillionaire Abdirashid Duale, received two Global Good Governance awards from Cambridge IFA, a London-based financial consultancy firm, for its services to the diaspora through money transfers.
Duale, the company’s CEO, said the awards highlight the company’s role in socioeconomic development work in the regions where it operates.
He stressed that the company has met its goal of facilitating financial transactions to vulnerable communities and those who support them in even the most remote areas.
“This is a great honor not only to Dahabshiil but to indigenous African companies that are playing a role in the economic development of the continent but also supporting the less fortunate, the awards confirm our status as among the global remittance firms worldwide, providing easy, swift, secure transactions worldwide,” he said.
Dahabshiil, an indigenous African company, was founded in 1970. It was established at the time as a new remittance venture to enable migrants to send money to family and friends at home in East Africa.
Since its inception more than five decades ago, Dahabshiil has grown into the largest African money transfer business, operating in 126 countries worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa.
In addition to serving individual customers, Dahabshiil offers money transfer and banking services to businesses and international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, Oxfam, and Save the Children, as clients rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services to their staff, contractors, government institutions, and partner NGOs.
Apart from its primary business of international money transfers, Dahabshiil owns a 95-percent stake in Somtel, a well-known telecom and technology service provider with the most extensive network coverage in Somaliland.
Somtel offers a wide range of mobile phone and Internet services to regional customers. Earlier this year, the telecom company partnered with Telesom to improve telecommunications and connectivity in the region. Telesom is a telecommunications firm that operates in Somaliland.
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