Forbes released today its fourth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. These 60 women, who have a record combined net worth of $71 billion, up 15% from $61.5 billion in 2017, have shattered ceilings and scaled new heights, making fortunes in everything from genetic testing to slimming shapewear. The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list is $320 million, up from $260 million last year.
Diane Hendricks, cofounder and chairman of ABC Supply, the nation’s largest roofing distributor, reclaims the top spot on this year’s list of America’s most successful women entrepreneurs, with a net worth of $4.9 billion. Marian Ilitch, worth $4.3 billion, falls to the No. 2 spot, as higher labor costs and commodity prices take their toll on her Little Caesars pizza chain. Epic Systems’ Judy Faulkner climbs three spots to No. 3, with a net worth of $3.5 billion. Rounding out the top five are Meg Whitman (No. 4, $3.3 billion) and Johnelle Hunt (No. 5, $3.2 billion).
“The most successful women entrepreneurs in the country are increasingly taking advantage of technology including social media to help them launch and grow businesses,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes’ Assistant Managing Editor, Wealth. “That’s one reason why we’ve seen a notable influx of Instagram-savvy moguls like 20-year-old Kylie Jenner in the ranks of America’s richest self-made women.”
ON THE COVER: Kylie Jenner, who at not even 21 years old has built a $900 million cosmetics fortune with virtually no employees or capital. This new model of extreme fame leverage is radically reshaping business, culture and politics. Kylie Cosmetics launched two years ago and has since sold more than $630 million worth of makeup. She has leveraged her mammoth social media following to build a giant business. “Social media is an amazing platform,” says Jenner. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.” Kylie Cosmetics is now worth nearly $800 million and Kylie Jenner owns 100% of the company.
There are seven newcomers to this year’s America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, with more than half earning their wealth from cosmetics, thanks to soaring beauty sales among Gen Z. Notable newcomers include Anastasia Soare (No. 21, $1 billion), founder of Anastasia of Beverly Hills; Kylie Jenner (No. 27, $900 million), founder of Kylie Cosmetics; Huda Kattan (No. 37, $550 million), founder of Huda Beauty; Anne Wojcicki (No. 44, $440 million), cofounder and CEO of 23andMe; and Kim Kardashian West (No. 54, $350 million), founder of KKW Beauty. Notable drop-offs include Diane Von Furstenberg,Patricia Miller, cofounder of Vera Bradley, and Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman.
The Top 10 Richest Self-Made Women: