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Only 327 of the 2,668 billionaires in the world are women entrepreneurs, and the majority of them inherited their enormous wealth. However, 101 female entrepreneurs did it on their own, including 11 who have a joint fortune with their spouses. These self-made women entrepreneurs have a collective net worth of billions of dollars, and they made their money in a variety of industries, including petrochemicals, roofing, casinos, and Little Caesar’s pizza.
1.Diane Hendricks ($12.2B)
One of the biggest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding, and windows in America, ABC Supply, is led by the businesswoman, Diane Hendricks. In 1982, Hendricks and her late husband, Ken, co-founded the company in Beloit, Wisconsin. The female entrepreneur oversaw ABC’s two largest acquisitions in company history: the acquisition of rival Bradco in 2010 and the distributor of building supplies L&W Supply in 2016. The company expects its 2021 revenues to be close to $15 billion and has close to 800 branch locations.
2.Judy Faulkner ($6.7B)
In a basement in Wisconsin, the self-made woman entrepreneur, Judy Faulkner started the nation’s largest firm of its kind, now known as Epic Systems, which provides software for keeping track of medical records. The $3.8 billion (2021 sales) business, whose CEO is computer programmer Faulkner, is also its 47% owner. Leading medical institutions including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic use Epic, which supports the medical records of over 250 million patients.
3.Judy Love ($5.2B)
Judy Love and her husband Tom used a $5,000 loan from Tom’s parents to open their first gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma, in 1964. Till 1975, when she went back to college, the boss lady managed the books and the business with Tom. Today, their Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has over 590 locations across 41 states and is anticipated to generate $25.5 billion in annual sales.
4.Johnelle Hunt ($4.3B)
Johnelle Hunt and her late husband J.B. (d. 2006) sold their home and secured loans to launch a business that packaged rice hulls in 1961. Eight years later, the couple started J.B. Hunt Transport Services by purchasing five trucks and seven trailers. The Lowell, Arkansas-based company went public in 1983 and now, with $12.2 billion in annual sales, is among the largest US transportation firms.
5.Marian Ilitch ($4.3B)
In 1959, Marian Ilitch and her late husband Mike, who passed away in 2017, founded Little Caesars Pizza. The pizza chain, which generates more than $4.5 billion in annual systemwide sales, is now owned by businesswoman Mrs. I.
6.Thai Lee ($4.1B)
The self-made woman entrepreneur, Thai Lee is the CEO of SHI International, a $12.3 billion (in revenue) IT company with 15,000 clients, including AT&T and Boeing. The woman entrepreneur, who was born in Bangkok, was raised in South Korea before going to high school there. In 1989, Lee and her ex-husband spent less than $1 million for the company that would later become SHI, a software reseller.
7.Gail Miller ($4B)
Utah-based The Larry H. Miller Group, which has ties to the real estate, healthcare, finance, and entertainment industries, is owned by Gail Miller. Before women entrepreneur sold it to Asbury Automotive in 2021 for $3.2 billion, she and her late husband Larry (d. 2009) transformed a single Toyota dealership into the eighth-largest car dealer network in America.
8.Lynda Resnick ($4B)
Lynda Resnick and her husband Stewart owe their fortune to nature’s bounty, which includes grapefruits in South Texas and almonds and oranges in California’s Central Valley. The Wonderful Company, one of the biggest farming businesses in America, was cofounded by them and they now jointly own it. They have an estimated $10.6 billion in combined wealth, which makes the self-made woman entrepreneurs share around 4-5 billion dollars.
9.Meg Whitman ($3.1B)
Meg Whitman is widely known for guiding eBay as CEO from 1998 to 2008, increasing sales from $5.7 million to $8 billion. The self-made woman entrepreneur is currently the American ambassador to Kenya. From 2011 until 2015, the boss lady served as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, where she supervised the company’s division into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
10.Oprah Winfrey ($2.6B)
The popular talk show that the self-made woman entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey hosted for 25 years has evolved into a media and commercial empire. When profits from her show and those from movies like Selma, The Color Purple, and Beloved (which her Harpo Productions coproduced) are combined, they total more than $2 billion.