These are the richest self-made Black women in America right now

Abu Mubarik June 17, 2022
Oprah Winfrey, Philanthropist and Global Media Leader, at The 2019 Women In The World Summit in New York City. Image via YouTube/Women in the World

Forbes has released its annual list of self-made women in America, which includes the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs, entertainers and executives.

According to Forbes, America’s richest self-made women had a combined net worth of $111 billion, a 6% drop from last year. The platform also noted that thirty-eight of the 100 on this year’s list is worth less than in 2021, but 51 are richer, including seven newcomers and seven who are back after having fallen off.

The new faces include Sandra Bullock, Shark Tank judge Emma Grede and Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori. Here are the top six Blacks who made the list of America’s richest self-made women.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is ranked 10th on the Forbes list but first for Black women with a net worth of $2.6 billion. According to Forbes, the media mogul made her money from reinvesting profits from her talk show and films like The Color Purple, Beloved and Selma. Winfrey launched cable channel OWN in 2011. Her 25.5% of the network is worth more than $65 million while her stake in Weight Watchers is around 10%.

She has a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree from Tennessee State University.


Last year, the Barbados singer, actress, and lingerie mogul was officially certified as a billionaire by Forbes, after estimating that she is worth $1.4 billion.

Rihanna’s status also makes her the richest female musician in the world and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the world’s richest female entertainer. Although the entertainer shot to fame through music, Forbes says it is not her music that made her wealthy but the success of her cosmetics line Fenty Beauty. The cosmetics company, which she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH, made more than $550 million in revenue in 2020.

The singer also has a 30% stake in the Savage x Fenty lingerie line, which raised money at a $1 billion valuation in February 2021, according to Forbes.

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET) with her then-husband Robert Johnson and sold it to Viacom for about $3 billion in 2001. Three years after their divorce, Johnson launched the Salamander Resort & Spa in 2005.

The luxury hotel company’s growth strategy resulted in an impressive 24% jump in revenues, from $170 million in 2016 to $210 million in 2017. Johnson has also invested in real estate, planes and horses.

According to Forbes, she has a net worth of $780 million.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of ActOne, a provider of workforce solutions such as temporary staffing. In 2017, ActOne made a revenue of $950 million. Howroyd opened her business back in 1978 with $1,500 including a $900 loan from her mother, a fax machine and a phone. Today, her agency employs more than 2,600 people in 19 countries with over 17,000 clients. The Black founder also owns several properties with her family, including commercial and rental properties and residences.

Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles at age 40 is worth $450 million, according to Forbes. She is married to billionaire rapper Jay-Z. She first rose to fame as the lead singer in Destiny’s Child. Since then, she is regarded as one of the most successful black female entertainers.

In 2019, Beyoncé announced a partnership deal with Adidas to relaunch her activewear line, Ivy Park. Also, she signed a deal with Netflix worth around $60 million to release “Homecoming”, a live album, and a special documentary about her groundbreaking 2018 performance at Coachella.

Emma Grede

Emma Grede recently became the first Black woman guest Shark on the popular entrepreneur pitch show on ABC, Shark Tank. She appeared on the 13th season of the show alongside the regular cast of Sharks, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary.

Grede is the CEO of fashion juggernaut Good American as well as a founding partner of SKIMS. She co-founded Good American with Khloe Kardashian and is a founding partner of SKIMS with Khloe’s sister, Kim Kardashian.

Grede obtained a business degree at The London College of Fashion and has worked with brands like Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Zac Posen, Christopher Kane, Chivas, Mercedes-Benz, and Sky.

Forbes says Grede is $360 million.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 17, 2022


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