Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

While men still dominate the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, it is fascinating to examine the net worth of some of the richest women in 2024.

Even more intriguing is the rise of the richest Black women, who confront both the gender and racial wealth gaps. Today, more than ever, Black women are breaking through barriers and shattering glass ceilings, emerging as some of the wealthiest individuals in the world.

While some of these remarkable women may have inherited their fortunes from their families or spouses, their inclusion among the world’s richest Black women highlights their astute investments and exceptional ability to expand their wealth.

Browsing Forbes’ list of the richest Black women in 2024, we were astounded by their net worth — and you likely will be too.

Below is a list of the top 10 richest Black women in the world and how they amassed their wealth.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Net Worth: $2.8 Billion

Oprah Gail Winfrey is currently the richest Black woman in the world with a net worth of $2.8 billion, according to Forbes. She is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist.

A self-made billionaire, Oprah was born into rural poverty and raised by a mother dependent on government welfare payments in a poor urban neighborhood.

Winfrey became a millionaire at the age of 32 when her talk show received national syndication. By negotiating ownership rights to the television program and starting her own production company, she became the first Black American woman to own her own production company.

Her wealth skyrocketed as a result. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey reached the $1 billion mark, making her the world’s first Black female billionaire.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in her first movie, The Color Purple. According to Women of the Hall, Winfrey was once television’s highest-paid entertainer as the successful host of a syndicated television talk show that reached 15 million people daily.

Oprah Winfrey is considered a role model to many due to her resilience in overcoming a tough childhood, her extensive charity work, her educational initiatives, and her genuine relationships with her fans. Oprah stands out for her unique ability to empathize with others’ pain and help them navigate through difficult times.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

2. Isabel Dos Santos

Net Worth: $2 Billion

Isabel Dos Santos, a businesswoman from Angola, is the eldest child of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who governed the nation for nearly four decades (1979 to 2017).

Over her career, Santos has built an impressive and diverse investment portfolio, including a significant 25% stake in Unitel, a leading Angolan mobile phone company, and a 25% ownership in Banco BIC SA, a major Angolan bank.

Apart from these ventures, she also holds significant investments in Nos SGPS, a major Portuguese cable TV provider, and maintains a stake of just under 20% in Banco BPI, one of the largest publicly traded banks in Angola. Her business interests span holdings in various companies within Portugal and Angola.

However, despite her considerable success, Dos Santos has been subject to a series of investigations and allegations, particularly regarding fraud and corruption. These controversies have had significant ramifications, resulting in her removal from Forbes’ list of Africa’s richest women in January 2021.

The freezing of her assets in Angola, Portugal, and the Netherlands, combined with a debt of $340 million owed to the Portuguese company PT Ventures, have added to the challenges she currently confronts.

While Dos Santos’ wealth and achievements were once highly esteemed, her ongoing legal and financial difficulties have subjected her to scrutiny and tarnished her previously celebrated reputation.

 

 

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

3. Rihanna

  • Net Worth: $1.4 Billion

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman. She ranks as the third richest Black woman and the world’s wealthiest female artist with a net worth of $1.4 billion.

According to Forbes, the bulk of Rihanna’s wealth comes from her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, rather than her music. Another lucrative business venture that has contributed significantly to her wealth is X Fenty, a lingerie line she co-owns.

 

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

4. Ngina Kenyatta

  • Net Worth: $1 Billion

Ngina Kenyatta, affectionately known as Mama Ngina, holds a substantial stake in nearly half of all multinational corporations operating in her home country of Kenya.

As the former First Lady of Kenya and the widow of the esteemed Jomo Kenyatta, the nation’s first president, Ngina Kenyatta holds a prominent position in Kenyan society. Additionally, she is the proud mother of the current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ngina Kenyatta’s wealth stems from a range of lucrative ventures, spanning real estate, farming, banking, and manufacturing. Her business acumen and success have earned her recognition, with Forbes acknowledging her as one of the female millionaires to watch out for in Africa back in 2012.

With an estimated net worth of US$1 billion, Ngina Kenyatta ranks 4th among the richest Black women in the world in 2024.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

5. Folorunsho Alakija

  • Net Worth: $1 Billion

olorunsho Alakija is a prominent Nigerian billionaire, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Her diverse wealth primarily originates from thriving ventures in the fashion, oil, real estate, and printing industries.

Following the completion of her fashion design course at the American College and the Central School of Fashion in London, Alakija founded her own fashion house, Supreme Stitches, within the confines of a modest three-bedroom apartment in Surulere, Lagos.

Remarkably, within a short span of a year, Alakija’s exceptional talent propelled her to become one of Nigeria’s premier designers, gaining recognition for celebrating Nigerian culture through her clothing creations. Her clientele even included the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida, further solidifying her esteemed reputation.

As of 2024, Folorunsho Alakija’s net worth stands at an astounding $1 billion, making her the wealthiest woman in Nigeria and one of the richest Black women globally.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

6. Hajia Bola Shagaya

  • Net Worth: $950 Million

Hajia Muinat Bola Shagaya is a Nigerian-born international business tycoon, fashion enthusiast, and political icon.

She began her career in the banking sector, working at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). However, driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, she soon delved into the importation and exportation of photographic materials, diversifying her interests and broadening her horizons.

Bola Shagaya holds prominent roles, including being a valued member of the board of Unity Bank and serving as the Managing Director of Practoil. Her active involvement in various industries also extends to her patronage of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria and her real estate endeavors.

As of 2024, Bola Shagaya’s exceptional achievements have amassed her a staggering net worth estimated at US$950 million, solidifying her status as one of the world’s wealthiest Black women.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

7. Sheila Crump Johnson

  • Net Worth: $840 Million

Sheila Crump Johnson is an American businesswoman, co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and the first African American woman to achieve a net worth of at least one billion US dollars. In 2021, Forbes listed her as one of America’s Self-Made Women.

In 1979, Sheila Crump Johnson co-founded the cable TV channel Black Entertainment Network with her then-husband, Robert. Viacom acquired it for $3 billion in 2001. Following her divorce in 2002, she divested her shares and has since diversified her investments into hotels in Florida and Virginia, aviation, real estate, and equine ventures.

In her role as a cultural liaison to the Middle East for the U.S. Information Agency, she played a pivotal role in establishing the National Music Conservatory of Jordan. In 1980, Johnson co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), the first television station dedicated to addressing the needs, interests, and culture of African Americans.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

8. Beyoncé

  • Net Worth: $800 Million

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter is undoubtedly one of the most prominent and affluent Black women globally. Despite her marriage to billionaire Jay-Z, the majority of her wealth stems from her illustrious music career and her successful clothing company, Ivy Park.

The American singer, songwriter, and actress began her journey by participating in singing and dancing competitions as a child. She soared to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.

Beyoncé made history as the first Black woman to headline the music festival Coachella. Her electrifying performance at the event became the most-streamed Coachella video on YouTube ever.

Undoubtedly, Beyoncé is hailed as one of the most significant and successful female musicians worldwide. Her unparalleled talent has been the driving force behind her remarkable performances and prolificacy in her musical career.

As of 2024, Beyoncé has amassed a remarkable net worth of $800 million, establishing her as the second richest female Black musician.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

9. Janice Bryant Howroyd

  • Net Worth: $600 Million

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ActOne, a leading provider of workforce solutions. According to Forbes, she launched the business in Los Angeles in 1978 with just $1,500, including a $900 loan from her mother. Since then, the company has flourished, generating annual revenue of approximately $1 billion.

Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

10. Wendy Appelbaum

  • Net Worth: $259 Million

Wendy Appelbaum is a South African business leader, philanthropist, and one of the richest and most influential women in Africa.

Her journey to success began by working in her father’s company, the Liberty Group, where she eventually ascended to the position of director at the Liberty Group Investors. During her tenure, she emerged as one of the company’s largest individual shareholders.

Following a successful career in the financial sector, Wendy Appelbaum made a significant decision to divest her shares and, in 2003, ventured into the wine industry with her husband.

With her remarkable achievements and diverse business interests, Wendy Appelbaum has not only earned the title of the richest woman in South Africa but also stands among the wealthiest women in the entire African continent.

 
 
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024
Top 10 richest black women in the world 2024

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