7 Black Women Who Made Forbes’ List of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Forbes has released its list of 100 of America’s richest self-made women and it’s only right that we highlight the seven Black women whose business endeavors garnered them a spot.

Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna are the only Black women to make the top 20 with the media mogul coming at number 13 with $2.5 billion and Rih Rih claiming the 20th spot with her $1.4 billion net worth. Winfrey’s billions were acquired in the form of a dominating media empire that includes the Oprah Winfrey Network, production on major films and television shows, five best-sellers, two magazines, and profitable investments like her 10% stake in weight loss company Weight Watchers.

Rihanna joined the billionaires club thanks in huge part to her Fenty Beauty cosmetics company she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH. She became the youngest self-made billionaire in 2022, making her the wealthiest female music artist in the world.

Sheila E. Johnson, the CEO of Salamander Hotel And Resorts, took the 28th spot with her $840 million net worth that kicked off when she co-founded Black Entertainment Television with her ex-husband Robert in 1979. After their 2002 divorce, Johnson sold her shares of BET and went on to invest in hotels throughout Florida and Virginia, as well airplanes, real estate, and horses.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, the founder and CEO of the staffing giant ActOne came in a number 42 with a $600 million net worth. After starting the company in 1978 with $1,500 and a $900 loan from her mother, Howroyd and her family went on to grow the company to more than 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 33 countries.

Beyoncé earned the 48th spot with a $540 million net worth made in the form of her dominating career in entertainment. Her current Renaissance world tour is on track to outperform Taylor Swift’s world tour and rake in $2 billion, via Forbes.

Sports icon Serena Williams took the 89th spot with her $290 million net worth made in the form of a booming tennis career, her investment firm, and various endorsements that continue to come in the wake of her 2022 retirement.

Renowned showrunner Shonda Rhimes made the list for the first time coming in at number 96 with a $250 million net worth. The Shondaland founder has created beloved shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder” along with inking a five-year deal with Netflix worth $100 million that resulted in the streaming giant’s high-performing series “Bridgerton” and the “Queen Charlotte” prequel.

The variety in which these powerful Black women earned a spot on the coveted list serves as inspiration to the next generation of bold Black female leaders.