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The 15 Most Successful Female Entrepreneurs in the World

Silhouette of an excited business woman standing in front of a sunset
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Men have been at the top of the leading board for years, dominating the world of business. But with the rise of influential women like Coco Chanel and Estée Lauder came the launch of a whole new era for businesswomen around the world.

Today, women are sitting side by side and establishing their businesses as household names in a variety of industries, including publishing, technology, fashion, broadcasting and beauty.

And to inspire you to do the same, we’ve listed the top 15 female entrepreneurs in the world in 2018.

 


 

1. Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Company: Nasty Gal and Girlboss Media

Age: 34

Net worth: $280 million (£216.8 million) (2016)

Sophia Amoruso had her fair share of knockbacks when building her empire but has since managed to pull through and build an inspiring brand for millennials.

In 2015, she stepped down as Nasty Gal’s CEO and watched the company file for bankruptcy, but this was just a setback and went on to develop her new venture, Girlboss, a site that’s dedicated to advising and empowering women on wellness, beauty, careers and more.

 

2. Huda Kattan

Huda Kattan Huda Beauty

Company: Huda Beauty

Age: 35

Net worth: $550 million (£425.9 million) (2018)

Huda Kattan started her beauty empire after she quit her finance gig in Dubai. Struggling to find great quality false eyelashes as a freelance makeup artist, the beauty mogul decided to start making her own synthetic and faux minx eyelashes. After becoming the new ‘it’ product for Kim Kardashian, Huda Beauty lashes sold out within the first day, making makeup queen Kattan a person to look out for.

 

3. Tory Burch

Tory Burch ANDREA DELBO / Shutterstock.com

Company: Tory Burch  

Age: 52

Net worth: $800 million (£619.4 million) (2018)

After gaining work experience in some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Loewe, Tory Burch decided to spread out her wings and build her own label. In 2004, she launched her very own fashion brand, which has become a huge success with unique and on-trend designs.

With her rise to fame, Burch wanted to get involved in philanthropy and founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation which supports women with cancer and provides awareness to young women about the disease.

 

4. Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

Company: Thrive Global

Age: 68

Net worth: $50 million (£38.7 million) (2018)

Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and former editor-in-chief of the successful news website HuffPost (previously the Huffington Post). After creating a digital news outlet, Huffington set her sights on launching a series of books, including the most recent, The Sleep Revolution. She also manages the wellness site Thrive Global and offers a six-week course to improve people’s overall wellbeing.

 

5. JK Rowling

JK Rowling Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Profession: Novelist, film producer and screenwriter

Age: 53

Net worth: $54 million (£41.8 million) (2018)

The British novelist JK Rowling faced her fair share of obstacles and rejection when she was trying to publish her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Once she managed to break through the publishing barriers, though, JK Rowling’s books became an instant hit seemingly overnight, turning the book series into films, merchandise and even adventure parks.

 

6. Vera Wang

Vera Wang Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

Company: Vera Wang

Age: 69

Net worth: $630 million (£487.8 million) (2018)

Vera Wang was a late bloomer, compared to the rest of the ladies on this list. It wasn’t until she designed her own wedding dress at the age of 40 that she decided to start her own fashion label. Luckily, Wang had all the right contacts having worked at Vogue magazine to make her brand a success. She has since expanded her company and now designs everything from jewellery to home and kitchen wear, as well as clothes, shoes and accessories.

 

7. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com

Company: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Age: 77

Net worth: $300 million (£232.3 million) (2018)

Martha Stewart grew to stardom as a celebrity chef, publishing a number of cookbooks and writing columns for several magazines. In 1997, the businesswoman centralised all her ventures with the creation of her media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She has since delved into TV and radio, and she continues to focus on her cooking success.

 

8. Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Company: Cath Kidston

Age: 59

Net worth: N/A

Following a career in furniture design, Cath Kidston decided to branch out and build her own store in 1993 that sold her quintessentially British, vintage designs. When vintage started trending again a few years later, the store quickly became a huge success and is now a household name on the British high streets.

 

 

9. Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks Inc.com

Company: ANGI Homeservices

Age: 45

Net worth: $50 million (£38.7 million) (2018)

Finding a service provider in a time of emergency is hard – you call whoever has been recommended and hope for the best! And that’s where Angie Hicks saw a huge gap in the market, forming a service that no one else had provided before. Angie’s List helps you find the ideal household service that is right for you – all at the click of a button!

 

10. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely Glamour

Company: Spanx

Age: 47

Net worth: $1 billion (£774.2 million) (2018)

With little money to invest in her idea, Sara Blakely, the future founder of Spanx, faced rejection after rejections from investors when launching her brand. It wasn’t until Oprah Winfrey publicly acknowledged her business idea that her company got off the ground.

 

11. Denise Coates

Denise Coates The Mirror

Company: Bet365

Age: 51

Net worth: $3.9 billion (£3 billion) (2018)

Denise Coates is the successful owner of betting site Bet365, which took her a year to develop and launch. She managed to fund the business by getting a £15 million loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland (about $19.4 million), turning it into one of the world’s largest online gambling sites.

 

12. Cher Wang

Cher Wang The Wall Street Journal

Company: HTC Corporation        

Age: 60

Net worth: $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) (2018)

Cher Wang is the founder of the billion-dollar tech company HTC which is focused on creating new and innovative smartphones. Despite slumps in the market, Wang strives to turn the business back around and create new devices to boost sales.

 

13. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw The Indian Express

Company: Biocon

Age: 65

Net worth: $3.4 billion (£2.6 billion) (2018)

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is not only known for her staggering wealth but also for being India’s first female entrepreneur. She founded the business Biocon in 1978, which focuses on biopharmaceuticals which are sold in over 120 countries across the globe.

 

14. Jennifer Hyman

Jennifer Hyman Fortune

Company: Rent the Runway 

Age: 37

Net worth: $300 million (£232.3 million) (2018)

Finding a niche in the market can be difficult, but Jennifer Hyman managed to do just that by making the runway affordable to all the Carrie Bradshaws out there. The genius subscription package allows you to rent a designer dress, wear it to an event and send it back in a prepaid envelope, all at the click of a button.

 

15. Yang Lan

Yang Lan TED Talk

Company: Sun Media Group 

Age: 50 

Net worth: N/A

Media mogul Yang Lan is undeniably the most powerful woman in the Chinese media. She not only founded the Sun Media Group but is also a journalist and talk show hostess. She’s interviewed many famous faces, including Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton and Keanu Reeves.

 


 

Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but these inspiring women in business prove that, with the right amount of passion and a lot of hard work and dedication, you too can build your own empire.

Which female boss inspires you the most? Let us know in the comments section below!