In 2022, Forbes printed a list of the 10 richest women in the world. None of the women on their list were Black women. That’s surprising for many of us given the success of Black women like Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, and Rihanna.
One of the things that stands out to us is that many of the women on Forbes’ list are generational wealth or inherited wealth. Most Black women in the millionaire and billionaire status are self-made wealth. So why is this a disparity? Some experts believe it is a product of systemic racism. Wealth lists seem to always focus on the successes of White Americans before mentioning the successes of Black Americans.
But here, we want to highlight Black women who have built their fortunes and success from the ground up. Take a look at our list of the richest Black women in the world in 2022, and likely carrying over into 2023.
The Richest Black Women in The World 2023
Based on data from 2022, here are the Black women who we believe will be among the richest in the world into 2023:
1. Oprah Winfrey
Topping our list of the richest Black women in the world is none other than Oprah Winfrey. This won’t be a surprise to most readers, as Oprah’s wealth and success is well documented. Oprah has amassed great success through her appearances on television, books, magazines, talk shows, and even film. She also has her own network under the name Harpo. Oprah has a net worth of approximately $2.7 billion.
Rihanna was officially named a ‘billionaire’ by Forbes in 2021. Rihanna has a massively successful singing career, but most of her wealth actually comes from her beauty and fashion brands Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty. Rihanna’s personal net worth is around $1.7 billion. Fenty Beauty, of which she holds 50% ownership, has a value of $2.8 billion. She also has partial ownership of Savage x Fenty, which is valued at around $270 million.
3. Serena Williams
We all know about the massive success of tennis star Serena Williams. But what many don’t know is that she has a net worth of around $225 million. In competition prize money alone, Williams has gained around $94 million. But she is also a savvy businesswoman who has a clothing line and owns stakes in the UFC and the Miami Dolphins. Williams is also currently working with Amazon Studios on a docu-series about her life.
4. Janice Bryant Howroyd
Howroyd may not be as well-known a name as Oprah or Beyonce, but she definitely deserves a place on our list. Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ActOne, a workforce solutions company. ActOne is incredibly successful in its own right, but Howroyd has also made smart investment decisions in real estate. Her estimated net worth is around $285 million. ActOne, however, has an estimated net worth of $950 million, solidifying her third-place position.
5. Sheila Johnson
Sheila Johnson amassed her fortune as the co-founder of the Black Entertainment Network, commonly known as BET. The network began as a cable TV channel in 1979. Viacom bought BET in 2001 for $2.9 billion. When Johnson sold off her shares, she began investing in hotel ownership and is the CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts. Johnson is the first Black woman to attain a net worth of $1 billion. Forbes estimates her net worth is around $770 million.
Beyonce is an iconic Black woman by many standards. She rose to fame as a teenager as part of the group Destiny’s Child. As an adult, she amassed greater successes with a solo career, a marriage to Jay-Z, clothing lines, acting, and more. Beyonce has an estimated net worth of around $500 million.
7. Ngina Kenyatta
Ngina Kenyatta is another name you might not be immediately familiar with. But you may recognize her as the First Lady of Kenya. The is the widow of former president Jomo Kenyatta, and is the mother of the current president. She is considered one of the wealthiest women in Africa and makes our list of richest Black women in the world with a net worth of $515 million. Kenyatta controls vast holdings in Africa as well as owning one of the largest dairy farms in the country. She also has stakes in business, banking, and television.
All of the Black women on our list have amassed incredible success in various ways. Each has worked hard to overcome challenges and become icons to their communities and the world.