Hello everyone! While it is true that most of the world’s billionaires are men there are a considerable number of self-made female billionaires* throughout the world who provide inspiration for men and women alike. I have chosen five female entrepreneurs to highlight with this post; my intention is to inspire you to achieve all that you are capable of and to remind you that as C.S. Lewis said – You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
CHU LAM YIU – Hong Kong
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Mrs Chu was born and raised in Sichuan and studied as a college student in Beijing and while there she became interested in flavours and fragrances. Rather than follow the traditional route of good job and benefits she became interested in business and trade straight away and followed her passion to found her flavourings and fragrance business aged 27. Since renamed Huabao International Holdings, the company makes tobacco flavourings for China’s top cigarette makers. It also produces fragrances and food flavourings for use in detergents, beverages, dairy products and cosmetics. Chu Lam Yiu was the world’s youngest female entrepreneur who became a self made billionaire until Sarah Blakely came along.
Lesson – Find your true passions and follow your own path.
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Chen was born in 1941 in the Summer Palace of Beijing, China. She is a descendant of a noble Manchu family of the Yellow Banner Clan but at the time of her birth, the Manchu imperial family had collapsed and her family was very poor. Poverty forced Chan to leave high school and started her own furniture repair business. In the early 1980s, Chan moved to Hong Kong and continue her business of buying and re-selling furniture. Her business in Hong Kong was successful enough that she accumulated enough money to buy 12 villas and she pivoted into property. In the 1990s this founded Fuwah International and now has diversified her business interests .Today this female entrepreneur holds much elevated position in the list of successful women in business.
Lesson – Your economic circumstances are temporary – do not allow your dreams or vision to be limited
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Now 69 Rosalia Mera dropped out of school at 11 to work as a seamstress and opened her first store in 1975 under the Zara brand name with her former husband Amanacio Ortega. In 1985 she founded Inditex, the parent company of Zara retail stores. Since that time the company has acquired and created a number of subsidiaries worldwide and employs close to 100,000 staff across its stores. Today this female entrepreneur is known as ‘The Richest Woman in Spain’ for good reason.
Lesson – You do not need to reach a certain age before pursuing your dreams
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Now 42 Sara Blakely is an American businesswoman and founder of Spanx, a multi-million dollar undergarment company. This female entrepreneur is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Sara Blakely’s business empire began when she started to solve a problem for herself – getting ready to go to a party she couldn’t find the right undergarment to wear under white pants. She quickly customised a pair of pantyhose for the party and focused on a more permanent solution for her business. Spanx revenues for 2011 were estimated at just under $250 million, according to independent research by Forbes Magazine.
Lesson – ‘Believe in your idea 100%, don’t let anyone stop you! Not being afraid to fail is a key part of the success of Spanx.’ – Sara Blakely
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Now 57, Oprah was born to a single teenage mother and grew up on grandmother’s farm in Mississippi and was subjected to child abuse. Easily the most recognisable name on this list Oprah is one of the richest self-made women in the world and one of the most influential too. Crucially she created her own production company to create her eponymously titled show. She gave considerable donations to the Barack Obama presidential campaign of 2008 and is also a noted philanthropist. Her $2.7bn (£1.7bn) wealth saw her become the world’s first ever black female entrepreneur to became billionaire, and the only black billionaire between 2004 – 2006.
Lesson – Own everything that you do.
We cannot promise to make all women female billionaires but we can help you realise your business dreams so give us a call on +44 (0) 845 2264 247 or drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org – We look forward to hearing from you.
We hope you find this information useful.
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* China in particular has a high concentration of female self-made billionaires.
Sources – Various Forbes Rich lists, Wikipedia and corporate websites