America's Richest Self-Made Women
Forbes Rich List: Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor among America's Richest Self-Made Women 2019

Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Oprah among Forbes 2019 List of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Three Indian-origin women have made the Forbes’ list of 80 America’s richest self-made women.

The list which was topped by Diane Hendricks comprised a pool of phenomenal women who run successful traditional businesses.

Diane Hendricks, 72 years with a net worth of USD 7 billion chairs ABC Supply, one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding and windows in the US. 

The President and CEO of computer networking firm Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal, co-founder of IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel Neerja Sethi and CTO and co-founder of streaming data technology company Confluent Neha Narkhede are the three Indians who made the 2019 Forbes’ list.

Ullal, who has been ranked 18th in the list, has a net worth of USD 1.4 billion.

The 58-year-old owns about 5 per cent of Arista’s stock. Born in London and raised in India, she is now one of America’s wealthiest female executives.

Also, Sethi, who was ranked 23rd, cofounded Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980 in their apartment in Troy, Michigan with an initial investment of just USD 2,000.

Her current net worth is one billion dollars. French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel for USD 3.4 billion in October 2018 and Sethi, 64, got an estimated USD 510 million for her stake.

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While for Narkhede who is ranked 60th on the list with a net worth of USD 360 million. Confluent, which is currently valued at USD 2.5 billion, counts Goldman Sachs, Netflix and Uber as customers.

As a LinkedIn software engineer, Narkhede, 34, helped develop Apache Kafka to handle the networking site’s huge influx of data and in 2014, she and two LinkedIn colleagues founded Confluent to build tools for companies using Apache Kafka, which became open source in 2011.

According to Forbes, more women are now creating new businesses and amassing fortunes than ever before, leading it to expand its ranking of the nation’s wealthiest self-made women to 80 ceiling crashers, one third more than a year ago.

Furthermore, the list also included women who have played a major role in utilising their social media following to grow their businesses.

Notably, prominent musician and artist, Rihanna who is known for venturing into fashion with her Fenty in May 2019 and Savage X Fenty lingerie. 

Rihanna who is worth Sh60 billion ($600 million) according to Forbes she was ranked 37th on the list. 

The singer has a beauty line, Fenty Beauty, which was welcomed with open arms by consumers worldwide because of its wear-ability.

As number 23, Kylie Jenner was also named the youngest billionaire by Forbes.

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Reality star cum make-up mogul Kylie Jenner, made the list with an estimated worth of Sh101.4 billion ($1 billion). Her big sister Kim Kardashian West, worth Sh37.51 billion ($370 million), ranked 57th.

Musician, Beyonce who has recently just announced a partnership with Adidas also made the list at number 51.

With a net worth of Sh40.55 billion ($400 million), Beyonce is known for her On The Run II stadium tour that saw her and husband Jay-Z make Sh500 million ($5 million) a night.

Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey who launched her network, OWN, in 2011 scooped the 10th spot.

Being a Weight Watchers shareholder and brand ambassador, Oprah also has a deal with Appleā€™s streaming service which hosts her book club, documentaries and TV series.

She is worth Sh263 billion ($2.6 billion).

Serena Williams, who owns Serena Ventures was the first athlete on the list, scooping the 80th spot.

Apart from her success in tennis, she is also a businesswoman. Meanwhile, according to Forbes, the 37-year-old is worth Sh23 billion ($225 million).

Others on the list include Taylor Swift, novelist Danielle Steel, Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, fashion designer Vera Wang, Celine Dion, Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty, among others. 

By John Dalton Kigozi