There are many myths about what it takes to be a successful business person. One of the most common beliefs is that you have to be born into wealth or privilege in order to achieve great things. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are countless examples of self-made millionaires and billionaires who started with nothing and achieved incredible success through hard work and determination.
This article will explore the stories of six Black women who became millionaires through their own ingenuity and perseverance. Despite the marginalisation of the Black community through slavery, segregation and racial prejudice in America’s history, these Black women have shown that it is still possible to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
6 Black Business Women Who Became Millionaires
1) Oprah Winfrey ($3.5 billion)
According to Forbes magazine, Oprah Winfrey is the richest African-American of the 20th century and considered one of the most influential women in the world. Her tremendous success has not only positively impacted her life and family, but she has also used it as an opportunity to help improve the lives of many others around her, including young people and those living in poverty both domestically while creating jobs overseas.
Oprah started off her career as a news reporter, but was quickly promoted to an anchor position on one of the most prestigious TV shows in history. From there, she went on to create her own production company and became famous for her television programs that had social messages applicable to the entire world. Now, Oprah is worth an estimated $3.5 billion. She owns her film studio named Harpo Productions, as well as the famous Oprah brand of media outlets which includes TV shows, magazines and websites.
2) Janice Bryant Howroyd ($435 million)
Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and chief executive officer of ACT-1 Group, a Beverly Hills, California staffing and recruiting agency that she started in 1987 with just $1,500. The company now has annual sales of over $3 billion and employs thousands of workers across North America.
Janice Bryant Howroyd was born into poverty on September 1, 1952, in Tarboro, North Carolina. Still, she lifted herself out of her circumstances by way of education at North Carolina A&T State University, where she studied English. She took what she had learnt and created a business around it.
3) Folorunsho Alakija ($1 billion)
Folorunsho Alakija is an oil tycoon from Nigeria who founded Famfa Oil, a Nigerian company that owns a substantial participating interest in OML 127, a lucrative oil block on the Agbami deep water oilfield in Nigeria.
Alakija started off her career in fashion design, but she was inspired to venture into the oil business in 1993 after discovering the immense wealth to be made in the oil sector. Alakija owns a $46 million jet and a million-dollar mansion in one of London’s luxurious neighborhoods.
4. Tyra Banks ($90 million)
Tyra had a difficult upbringing as she grew up in front of the camera as a child model at age 15. After being rejected by four modeling agencies, she was finally signed by L.A. Models. She has since created her own successful modeling agency, television shows, and cosmetic products while also investing some of her earnings into real estate, becoming a self-made millionaire according to Forbes magazine.
5. Robyn Rihanna Fenty ($1.7 billion)
Her career in the music industry began at the age of 16 when she was discovered by record producer Evan Rogers while vacationing with her family on the island of Barbados. After signing a contract with Def Jam Recordings, Rihanna became one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, moving more than 75 million records worldwide and becoming an international fashion icon and style leader in the process. In 2018, Rihanna was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
6. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles ($400 million)
Beyonce Knowles became a household name at age 20 when she and three other young women were formed into the chart-topping ‘Destiny’s Child’ in 1996. Throughout her childhood, Beyonce was always interested in music and went on to write songs like ‘Survivor’ which won the 2001 Grammy Award for best R&B song of the year while also winning 2 MTV Video Music Awards for best female video; one for ‘Crazy in Love’ with Jay-Z (2003) and another for Say my Name (2000). Her self-titled debut album released in 2003 has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide, which earned her several awards including two Grammys.
Beyoncé Knowles changed the game when she dropped her fifth studio album in 2013. She has not only won 22 Grammy awards, but has also sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best selling artists of all time.
In conclusion, the list of Black women who became millionaires is made up of a diverse group of business-minded individuals whose lives and careers have been intertwined in an inspiring way. By building their own companies and pursuing their own visions, these women have helped to define what success looks like in a global economy while changing the face of wealth in the process.