The 20 Richest Female Self-Made Billionaires In 2021

Women are really doing it big when it comes to finances as this year’s Forbes list has several women pushing up on the list of billionaires in the world. While some of these female billionaires inherited their wealth either from their late fathers or husbands, some of them became successful and affluent with hefty fortunes through their own hard work. They started little, put in the work that was required, and ended up earning a lot of money along the way. Here is a list of twenty female self-made billionaires who are often celebrated for their success.

We’ve compiled this from various credible sources around the web, including CNN, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune magazine, and Wikipedia

Richest Female Self-Made Billionaires

Zhong Huijuan

Self-made billionaire
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Net Worth: $20.3 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Pharmaceuticals

Zhong Huijuan serves as the chairperson of Hansoh Pharmaceutical, a Chinese drug company that produces diverse drugs including antidiabetic, psychoactive, and oncologic drugs. The former chemistry teacher who has worked her way up to fame and wealth founded the company in 1995. She has gathered her staggering wealth through her possession of over one-third of Hansoh Pharmaceutical shares alongside her daughter, Sun Yuan.

On the other hand, her husband, Sun Piaoyang, is also a billionaire that deals with pharmaceuticals. He equally serves as the chairman of the Shanghai-listed Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine.

Wu Yajun

Wu Yajun
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Net Worth: $13.9 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Chinese billionaire businesswoman Wu Yajun is the co-founder of the investment holding company, Longfor Properties. She is also the chairperson and former chief executive officer of the real estate development company. Yajun co-founded the company with her ex-husband, Cia Kui, in 1993. After their divorce in 2012, Cia no longer holds a position in the company.

Prior to becoming an accomplished businesswoman, Wu Yajun worked as an editor and journalist before venturing into real estate in the 1990s. She later invested in technology companies like Evernote and Uber before becoming one of the world’s richest female self-made billionaires.

Zhou Qunfei

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Net Worth: $11 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Technology

Zhou Quenfei is a former factory worker who founded and serves as the chairwoman of Lens Technology, a Chinese technology company that engages in the research, development, manufacture, and sales of lens products. They produce and sell touch panel cover glass, touch sensor modules, and touch panel covers.

As an entrepreneur, Qunfei established a watch parts company with her relatives in an apartment in Shenzhen in 1994 and nurtured it into a major touch screen maker, Lens Technology.

Lu Zhongfang

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Net Worth: $10.2 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Education Technology

Lu Zhongfang is the founder of Offcn Education Technology, a private institution that offers training for civil servants, teachers, and others in over three hundred cities in China. She is the largest shareholder of the education company that provides services to more than 2.3 million students yearly.

Prior to establishing her company in 1999 which accomplished a back door listing at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2009, the renowned female self-made billionaire worked in a pesticide factory that produces farm chemicals in Northern-China’s Jilin Province.

Diane Hendricks

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $9.7 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Conglomerate

Diane Hendricks is an American billionaire businesswoman who co-founded Hendricks Holding Company, a privately held conglomerate headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin. The company houses numerous enterprises in diverse industries including insurance, transportation and logistics, real estate and construction, restaurants, recycling, and the film industry. She co-founded the company with her husband Ken Hendricks in 1982.

The self-made female billionaire additionally serves as the co-founder and chairperson of ABC Supply Company – a leading private American roofing supply company that deals on windows, gutters, and siding.

Denise Coates

richest people in Britain
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Net Worth: $8.6 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United Kingdom

Source of Wealth: Online Gambling 

Denise Coates is an English businesswoman who established the online gambling company, Bet365. She owns 50.1% of the company with her brother and is as of now the Joint Chief Executive of the company she founded.

Coates became the highest-paid British CEO after paying herself a controversial sum of $423 million as salary in the year 2019 as her company became one of the world’s biggest online gambling agencies. Thanks to her huge wealth, she has been able to donate as much as £100 million to the Bet365 Foundation which she and her brother set up in 2012.

Wang Laichun

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Net Worth: $8.3 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Technology

Wang Laichun is a Chinese billionaire who serves as the chairman of the Luxshare Precision Industry, an electronics producer in Shenzhen, China. The company, which she partly-owns, supplies electronic connectors to Apple. She bought it along with her brother, Wang Laisheng, in 2004.

Before cofounding the electronics company with her brother, Wang previously worked for Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known as Foxconn Technology Group), a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer. She spent about ten years with the company before leaving in 1999.

Zeng Fangqin

Zeng Fangqin
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Net Worth: $6.4 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Technology

This Chinese female self-made billionaire began her career in Silicon Valley, California, USA, but later returned to China where she has established herself as one of the country’s wealthiest women. She is widely known as the chairperson of Lingyi Technology, a Chinese electronics components manufacturing company that produces conductive materials, thermally conductive insulation materials, shielding radiation protection materials, opticals materials, polymer film materials, and other products.

The company supplies internal parts of smartphones, tablets, and laptops to many giant tech companies including Huawei and Apple. The famous businesswoman completed a back door listing of Lingyi Technology on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange for around $3.2 billion in March 2018.

Meg Whitman

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Net Worth: $5.1 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Technology

Meg Whitman is an American business executive who was previously in charge of Hewlett-Packard, serving as chairwoman, president, and CEO. During her tenure at the helm of Hewlett-Packard from 2011 to 2015, she supervised its split into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

The businesswoman is also widely known for her role in taking eBay from $5.7 million to $8 billion in sales when she served as CEO of the company from 1998 to 2008. Whitman has since moved on to Quibi, an American short-form mobile video platform where she currently holds the position of CEO. She is also a board member of the American multinational consumer goods corporation, Procter & Gamble, as well as DropBox, a file hosting service.

Judy Faulkner

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $4 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Information Technology Health Informatics

Judy Faulkner is the founder and chief executive officer of Epic Systems, a privately held healthcare software company that manufactures software for keeping medical records of patients in hospitals. She founded the company which was originally named Human Services Computing in a Wisconsin basement in 1979 with a $70,000 investment (equivalent to $250,000 in 2019) along with two part-time assistants.

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

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Net Worth: $3.9 Billion

Country of Citizenship: India

Source of Wealth: Biotechnology

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw had a very humble beginning but is now a billionaire, the richest female self-made billionaire in India to be exact. She is the founder, chairperson, and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnological company based in Bangalore (Bengaluru), India.

Biocon is the first company to get the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for two different biosimilar drugs used in the certain treatment of cancer.

Lam Wai Ying

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Net Worth: $3.9 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Technology

Lam Wai Ying is a Chinese billionaire businesswoman who co-founded Biel Crystal Manufactory that makes touch screens for smartphones. She co-founded the company with her husband, Yeung Kin-min, and owns a 49% stake of the company while her husband possesses the remaining 51% stake.

Biel Crystal Manufactory is the biggest supplier of glass screens for watches, cell phones, and tablets to Apple. The company equally supplies its products to several prominent phone manufacturing companies such as Sony and Samsung.

Marian Ilitch

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $3.8 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Conglomerate

American billionaire businesswoman Marian Ilitch started from scratch with her husband, Mike Ilitch, to build the renowned conglomerate, Ilitch Holdings, in 1959. She serves as the co-founder and chairperson of the conglomerate that has many subsidiaries, including Olympia Entertainment and Olympia Development. She is also the co-founder of Little Ceasars Pizza – the third-largest pizza chain in the United States behind Pizza Hut and Dominos Pizza.

Besides operating in the United States, the company also franchises pizza restaurants in Australia, Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. Marian Ilitch is also the owner of Detroit Red Wings, an American professional ice hockey team, as well as Detroit Tigers, an American professional baseball team. Unarguably, she deserves a spot on the list of the richest female self-made billionaires.

Rita Tong Liu

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Net Worth: $3.6 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Rita Tong Liu is a Chinese real estate magnate who serves as the chairperson of Gale Well Group, a Hong Kong-based property firm. She turned a gift of HK$1 million received from her husband’s family and a plot of land in Macau gotten from her mother in the 1970s into a US$3.4 billion investment in Hong Kong after growing bored of working at Chong Hing Bank.

Liu went into luxury flats and houses in 1976 and later ventured into the parking space business. Today, her company’s portfolio encompasses all of the China Insurance Group Building, entire floors in Grand Millennium Plaza, Austin Plaza, The Admiralty Centre, Far East Financial Centre, Shun Tak Centre, and Lippo Centre among many others.

Zhang Xin

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $3.6 Billion

Country of Citizenship: China

Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Zhang Xin is one of the richest female self-made billionaires in China who has earned her wealth from the real estate industry. She is the co-founder and chief executive officer of SOHO China, a Chinese real estate development company that focuses on office buildings and the commercial sector with some residential and mixed-use properties. She co-founded the company in 1995 with her husband, Pan Shiyi, who serves as the chairman of the company.

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Johnelle Hunt

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Net Worth: $3.1 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Transportation and Logistics

Just like some other self-made billionaires on this list, Johnelle also co-founded her company, J. B Hunt Transport Services, with her husband, Johnnie Bryan Hunt. They nurtured the transportation and logistics company based in Lowell, Arkansas into a multinational transport firm that provides services across the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company’s fleet includes over 12,000 trucks, as well as 100,000 trailers, and containers.

Giuliana Benetton

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Net Worth: $2.8 Billion

Country of Citizenship: Italy

Source of Wealth: Fashion

Fashion mogul Giuliana Benetton is one of the co-founders of Benetton Group, a global fashion brand based in Ponzano, Veneto, Italy. She co-founded the clothing company with her three brothers; Luciano, Carlo, and Gilberto Benetton in 1965.

Through Edizione, a financial holding company, the siblings control a number of other businesses which includes 60% of Autogrill, 30% of Atlanta S.P.A, group of roadside restaurants, almost two-third of Italy’s motorways, and investments in the hospitality industry including Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

Oprah Winfrey

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $2.6 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Media 

Oprah Winfrey, who has been named one of the most influential women in the world, has won different awards for her very successful Oprah Winfrey Show. She is called the Queen of All Media and the greatest black philanthropist in American history for revolutionizing the tabloid talk show genre.

Apart from being the chairperson, CEO, and CCO of her eponymous network, she is also the founder, chairwoman, and CEO of Harpo Productions, a United States multimedia production company situated in West Hollywood, California.

Sheryl Sandberg

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Net Worth: $1.8 Billion

Country of Citizenship: United States

Source of Wealth: Technology

Sheryl Sandberg is an American technology executive, activist, and author who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She is the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board after having previously worked for Google in the Global Online Sales and Operations department as the Vice President.

Having led Facebook from a $56 million deficit to $22.1 billion in profits in 2018, Sheryl’s financial value encountered exponential growth as she has gone on to cement her place among the richest female self-made billionaires in the world.

Yelena Baturina

Self-made billionaires
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Net Worth: $1.3 Billion

Country of Citizenship: Russia

Source of Wealth: Real Estate and Construction

Yelena Baturina is Russia’s richest self-made billionaire and the founder of Inteco, an investment and construction company that she later sold together with her cement factories in Russia. She is the widow of Yury Luzhkov, the former Mayor of Moscow.

After selling almost all her assets in Russia, the businesswoman reinvested her fortune in Baturina’s Investment Group. The holding company covers hotel chains in Ireland, Czech Republic, and Russia; a renewable energy project in Greece, Italy, and Cyprus; a membrane construction and engineering enterprise in Germany; a development project in Cyprus; and a number of real estate investments in Europe and the United States. She is also the founder of BE OPEN, a cultural and philanthropic foundation that has earned her a lot of money.

Quick Summary

Below is a recap of the 20 richest female self-made billionaires:

  1. Zhong Huijuan
  2. Wu Yajun
  3. Zhou Qunfei
  4. Lu Zhongfang
  5. Diane Hendricks
  6. Denise Coates
  7. Wang Laichun
  8. Zeng Fangqin
  9. Meg Whitman
  10. Judy Faulkner
  11. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
  12. Lam Wai Ying
  13. Marian Ilitch
  14. Rita Tong Liu
  15. Zhang Xin
  16. Johnelle Hunt
  17. Giuliana Benetton
  18. Oprah Winfrey
  19. Sheryl Sandberg
  20. Yelena Baturina
Amira Daniel
Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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