Black Women on Forbes’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40”

Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift, Vera Wang, Ellen DeGeneres––what do they all have in common? They made Forbes’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40” list. However, they weren’t the only ones who appeared on the list––76 other women were named as well. Out of the 80 women who made it on Forbes’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40,” six of them were black women. Here are the details on who they are, what they were ranked, how much money they make, and where their money is coming from:


Oprah Winfrey––entrepreneur, TV personality, and philanthropist––ranked number 10 on the list. At the age of 65, her net worth is $2.6 billion. According to Forbes, Winfrey transitioned her 25-year-old talk show into a media and business empire and “the profits from her show add up to an estimated $2 billion.” Forbes stated that Winfrey also launched her own cable channel OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and signed a deal with Apple’s streaming service, which contributes to her worth. 

Sheila Johnson––co-founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television) and CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts––ranked number 31 on the list. At the age of 70, her net worth is $820 million. According to Forbes, BET was sold to Viacom for $2.9 billion in 2001 and after divorcing her husband and co-founder of BET, she sold off her shares and has since invested in hotels in Florida and Virginia, planes, real estate and horses.”Innisbrook, which is a Salamander resort, hosts the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship annually. 


Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty––musician, businesswoman, and actress––ranked number 37 on the list. At the age of 31, her net worth is $600 million. A combination of her music, co-owning makeup brand Fenty Beauty, owning lingerie line Savage X Fenty, and starting her own fashion house is what contributed to her net worth. According to Forbes, Fenty Beauty “generated an estimated $507 million in revenue last year.” Forbes also ranked Rihanna as “The World’s Richest Female Musician” and stated she will be “the first black woman in charge of a major luxury fashion house.”


Beyoncé Knowles-Carter––musician and actress––ranked number 51 on the list. At the age of 37, her net worth is $400 million. According to Forbes, Beyoncé’s On the Run II tour “grossed roughly $5 million per night, pulling in a total of more than $250 million.” She recently released “Homecoming,” a Netflix special about her performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, voiced as Nala in the 2019 version of “The Lion King,” and is partnering with Adidas, which all contributes to her worth as well.  

Janice Bryant Howroyd––founder and CEO of ActOne Group (a workforce management company)––ranked number 53 on the list. At the age of 66, her net worth is $390 million. According to ActOne Group, ActOne Group provides “employment, workforce management, and procurement solutions to a wide range of industries, Fortune 500 organizations, local and mid-market companies, and government agencies.” Forbes stated that ActOne Group’s estimated revenue in 2017 was $950 million. Forbes also stated that she owns “several dozen properties including commercial rental properties and residences” with her family.


Serena Williams––professional tennis player, entrepreneur, and founder of Serena Ventures (a firm that invests in start-up companies)––ranked number 80 on the list. At the age of 37, her net worth is $225 million. According to Serena Ventures, Serena Ventures has invested in more than 30 companies including Billie Inc., Brandless Inc., and Daily Harvest. According to Forbes, her “$89 million in career prize money is twice as much as any other female athlete.” Forbes also stated that her investments in start-ups through Serena Ventures “in a portfolio is worth at least $10 million,” she has her own clothing line, and “owns stakes in Miami Dolphins and UFC.”

Wondering who else made Forbes’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40”? Check out the full list here:

Jaida Sterling

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