Need That Money

Breaking Barriers: Stories of Wealth and Success from 5 Powerful Women

The Wealth and Achievement of Black Women

Black women have been steadily breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes, making remarkable strides in both their careers and wealth accumulation. Although these women have had tremendous success, there remain significant disparities in their financial outcomes compared to their white counterparts.

In this article, we explore the gender and racial wealth gaps and highlight the top 10 richest black women in the world.

Gender and Racial Wealth Gap

The gender and racial wealth gaps represent the distinct disadvantages and financial disparities that black women face compared to white men and women. The gender wealth gap is a phenomenon where women earn less income than men, affecting women of color the most.

The racial wealth gap refers to the difference in wealth between white and black individuals, with black people grossly underrepresented in terms of wealth. Statistics show that the average wealth of a white family is $188,200 while the average wealth for Black families is just $24,100.

It is evident that this disparity massively impacts the financial futures of Black women, who are further disadvantaged in their employment and education choices.

The Top 10 Richest Black Women in the World

Despite these financial obstacles, some Black women have defied the odds and accumulated extraordinary wealth on their own accord. Here are the top 10 richest Black women in the world according to Forbes:


Oprah Winfrey Net Worth: $2.6 billion

2. Folorunsho Alakija Net Worth: $1 billion


Hajia Bola Shagaya Net Worth: $950 million

4. Sheila Johnson Net Worth: $770 million


Janice Bryant Howroyd Net Worth: $730 million

6. Ngina Kenyatta Net Worth: $500 million


Beyonc Net Worth: $500 million

8. Wendy Applebaum Net Worth: $255 million


Rihanna Net Worth: $600 million

10. Serena Williams Net Worth: $225 million

Serena Williams Tennis Career

Serena Williams is known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 doubles titles. Her success on the court has seen her take home an impressive $93.4 million in career prize money, making her the highest-earning female tennis player in history.

But Serenas financial success doesnt stop with her tennis career. She has also invested in various business ventures, such as her clothing line, S by Serena, which has been a tremendous success.

She also owns a stake in the Miami Dolphins and is a strategic advisor for the mixed martial arts organization, UFC. Serenas drive and determination have shone brightly, demonstrating what is possible through hard work and determination.


Black women have shown that the colour of their skin is no barrier to greatness. Their exceptional achievements and wealth accumulation remind us that significant progress is still being made towards breaking the systemic barriers that block opportunities for Black women everywhere.

As society continues to do more work to close these gaps, it is expected that Black women will soar even higher in their careers and personal wealth. 3) Wendy Applebaum’s Business and Investment

From South Africa, Wendy Applebaum’s business and investment portfolio exemplify how drive, innovation, and investment acumen help revolutionize industries and economies.

In this article, we take a closer look at the businesses she owns, including Liberty Investors, and the industries in which she has made flagship investments, including real estate and winemaking.

Business of Liberty Investors

Liberty Investors is one of Africa’s most successful, privately-held insurance companies, founded in 1957 and serving the growing insurance needs of individuals and businesses across the African continent. Wendy Applebaum has been a leading driver and shareholder in Liberty Investors, stewarding its strategic direction with a focus on empowering employees, streamlining operations, and expanding services.

In addition to insurance, Wendy Applebaum has made other significant investments in the real estate industry, with her holdings stabilizing a fragile real estate market in South Africa and creating more opportunities. Through her smart investments, she promotes economic growth, creating more jobs and enhancing people’s lives.

Wendy Applebaum’s Investments

Outside of her insurance company, Wendy Applebaum’s notable investments also extend into the enjoyment and passion for wine-making. Her wine estate, DeMorgenzon, is located in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s famous wine district.

Wendy Applebaum has fostered the estate’s growth, which has earned significant recognition within the wine industry, pioneering South African wine-making and putting DeMorgenzon on the world wine map. Wendy Applebaum’s passion for female-led investment and empowerment led her to launch the Women’s Investment Portfolio Limited, a private equity fund that aims to further women’s capital investments, particularly skilled women.

The foundation has played an instrumental role in fostering female leadership and advancing women’s financial interest in South Africa. 4) Beyonc’s Music and

Business Ventures

From humble beginnings in Texas, Beyonc has come an extraordinarily long way in the music business, emerging as one of the industry’s most successful and influential stars.

Her success is symbolic of the possibilities available to all women who aspire to achieve greatness. In this article, we take a closer look at Beyonc’s music career and the thriving business ventures that she owns, including Ivy Park clothing company.

Beyonc’s Music Career

Destiny’s Child, the all-girl group that Beyonc co-founded in the late 1990s, helped launch her career in music. The group released multiple platinum albums, generated countless number one hits, and won numerous awards.

Beyonc then took the solo route, forging new pathways in music, refining her outstanding vocals, and showcasing exceptional songwriting skills. Beyonc’s solo career has seen her release many chart-topping albums, including ‘Dangerously in Love,’ ‘B’Day,’ and the more recent visual album, ‘Black is King.’ Her talent has also seen her win numerous accolades, including 28 Grammy Awards.


Business Ventures

Beyonc’s entrepreneurial spirit resulted in her founding Ivy Park, initially a joint venture with Topshop. Ivy Park produces uniquely stylish clothing, with a mission to inspire women to transform their physical, spiritual, and mental health built around the ethos of “movement, wellness, and community.” In 2019, she acquired full control of the company, set on positioning it as a global competitor in the fashion industry.

Her business proves that celebrities can diversify their investment portfolio and leverage their platforms to drive innovation and create successful companies, aligning with their aspirations, values, and passions.


In conclusion, Wendy Applebaum and Beyonc have shattered glass ceilings in their respective industries, proving that women can dominate in their areas of expertise and disrupt traditional markets while fostering economic growth and empowering other women. Wendy Applebaum plays a crucial role in the South African economy, with her investments in real estate, insurance, private equity, and the renowned DeMorgenzo wine estate.

Beyonc’s music career set the foundation for her business ventures, now a budding empire that spans from fashion to entertainment. Together, these women serve as inspiring examples of what can be accomplished with determination, drive, and the courage to pursue one’s passions.

5) Ngina Kenyatta’s Land and Business

Ngina Kenyatta, the widow of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, is one of Kenya’s wealthiest and most powerful women, with vast land holdings and thriving business ventures. In this article, we examine her Kenyan land holdings, including Brookside Dairies, and business ventures in K24, timber production, and the Commercial Bank of Africa.

Kenyan Land Holdings

Ngina Kenyatta is one of the largest landowners in Kenya, owning vast tracts of land in areas such as Kajiado and Naivasha. The Kenyatta family also owns a substantial portion of the Brookside Dairies, Kenya’s leading dairy processor which handles millions of liters of milk from Kenya’s small-scale farmers every day.

Ngina Kenyatta’s Brookside Dairies produces over 40 different products and has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. The company has played a significant role in creating job opportunities in the region, representing a key source of employment for thousands of people living in these areas.

Business Ventures

Ngina Kenyatta has also successfully ventured into media, having founded the K24 TV station that broadcasts news, entertainment, and sports programming in English and Swahili. The channel has grown to become one of Kenya’s most popular and influential media houses.

She has also invested in timber production and the Commercial Bank of Africa, overseeing successful operations in each of these sectors. Her sound investments, winning strategies, and dedication to excellence prove that women can indeed conquer the business world.

6) Success and Wealth of Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd is a successful entrepreneur, businesswoman, and the founder of ActOne, a staffing and employment agency with operations around the globe. Her journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the wealthiest African-American women in the United States is an inspiring tale of hard work, determination, and an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit.

Beginning of ActOne

Janice Bryant Howroyd founded ActOne in 1978 with a mere $1,500 loan, a phone and a desk. She started small and worked hard, dedicating herself to becoming an industry leader in the dynamic and highly competitive staffing and employment space.

Over the years, ActOne grew, diversifying both its clientele and operations, to cater to small businesses right through to large multinational corporations.

Success and Revenue of ActOne

Today, ActOne generates an annual revenue of over $1.2 billion, hiring more than 17,000 employees and working with over 6,000 companies. ActOne is a testament to Janice Bryant Howroyd’s success, with its operations spanning multiple locations across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

She built her fortune in staffing, but her investment portfolio goes further than her company, with commercial rental property, art, and aviation investments under her belt. Janice Bryant Howroyd’s story of rising from a temporary staffing agency to a multinational enterprise showcases that anyone can create wealth and significance from unlikely beginnings.

Janice’s much-celebrated journey exemplifies how a creative and flexible approach to business can take a company global. Her confidence, vision, and determination have been the driving force of her successes today.

In conclusion, Ngina Kenyatta and Janice Bryant Howroyd represent the epitome of what is achievable with hard work, a winning strategy, and resilience. Their success is not restrained to the business world, but their impact on their respective societies is proof that women in business can spark lasting change and influence whole communities.

Their perseverance and dedication to building successful businesses against seemingly insurmountable odds inspire other women to discover their untapped potential and rise above their socio-economic backgrounds to create something significant and valuable. 7) Sheila Johnson’s

Business Ventures

Sheila Johnson’s rise from a violin teacher to a multi-billionaire business executive is an inspiring tale of dedication, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Her business ventures showcase how diversified investments, grit, and an unwavering drive for success can help a woman ascend financial heights. In this article, we examine the

Black Entertainment Network (BET), her cable TV channel, and entrepreneurial investments in hotels, planes, real estate, and horses.

Black Entertainment Network

Sheila Johnson co-founded BET, a cable television channel for African-American viewers, in 1980, which became the first African-American-owned television network. BET offered a unique platform for African-Americans to access entertainment, news, and current affairs uniquely tailored for their needs.

The network quickly rose to national prominence and ultimately was sold to Viacom in 2001 for $3 billion.

Business Investments

Sheila Johnson has invested her fortune in various businesses, including properties, hotels, sports franchises, amusement parks, and horses. Johnson’s hotel portfolio consists of properties such as the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Tampa, Florida, providing a relaxing vacation destination for travelers worldwide.

She also invested in aircraft ownership, owning privately operated planes that are stationed across the United States. Johnson also has an ownership stake in the Washington Mystics, a professional women’s basketball team, contributing to the growth of women’s sports in America.

Sheila Johnson’s passion for horses ultimately led her to become the owner of Salamander Farm, Virginia. The farm has produced some of America’s finest thoroughbred horses, contributing significantly to Virginia’s thoroughbred racing industrys growth.

8) Hajia Bola Shagaya’s Business Empire

Hajia Bola Shagaya, one of Nigeria’s wealthiest and most successful women, entered into different sectors of Nigeria’s economy, building a vast business empires across several industries, including oil, banking, real estate, communications, and photography.

Bolmus Group International

Hajia Bola Shagaya is the founder of

Bolmus Group International, one of West Africa’s leading corporations, with investments in diverse fields.

Bolmus Group International operates in oil exploration, distribution, real estate, banking, technology, and communication sectors, deriving significant successes from each venture.

Real Estate Development

Hajia Bola Shagya is renowned for significant real estate investments, owning some of the most stunning and luxurious residential properties in Nigeria, including Banana Island, a prime location in Lagos, known for its opulence and exclusivity. Her strategic approach to property development has transformed the housing market in Nigeria, pioneering sophisticated infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities unique to the Nigerian market.

Hajia Bola Shagaya’s portfolio of investments is characterized by a consistent focus on providing innovative solutions such as technology, banking products, and real estate ventures. Her investments continue to stimulate growth across multiple sectors, cementing her position as a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic development.


In conclusion, Sheila Johnson and Hajia Bola Shagaya are influential businesswomen who, through their drive, grit, and professionalism, have risen to the pinnacle of their careers and amassed great fortunes. They have demonstrated that investing in diversified sectors such as real estate, oil, and media while maintaining a passion for their pursuits are keys to success.

Johnson’s investments in hotels and sports franchises, and Shagaya’s in real estate and other sectors, show the rewards of investment diversification, setting a standard for future generations of entrepreneurs to follow. 9) Folorunsho Alakija’s Business Career

Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman who has committed her life to building a successful career.

Alakija has earned global recognition, becoming one of the wealthiest African women and a symbol of female business excellence. In this article, we examine

Famfa Oil, her company, and entrepreneurial investments in a fashion label.

Famfa Oil

After working for over 30 years as a fashion designer, Folorunsho Alakija entered the Nigerian oil and gas industry to great success. In 1993, she founded

Famfa Oil, an oil exploration company, which, alongside her international partners Chevron and Petrobras, remains responsible for the production of Nigeria’s most substantial offshore oil discovery.

Through strong leadership and exceptional business strategies, Alakija’s

Famfa Oil has grown to be a giant in Nigeria’s oil industry and provided a considerable boost to the Nigerian economy, generating more than $10 billion USD annually. Beyond her achievements in oil, Alakija also established her fashion empire.

Fashion Label and Clients

Folorunsho Alakija started a fashion label named Rose of Sharon in the 1980s. The label has since then become notable in the Nigerian fashion scene

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