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Mumbai, 8 March 2017 – Hurun Report today released the Hurun Global Self-Made Women Billionaires List, a ranking of the self-made women billionaires found in the world. This is a sublist of the Hurun Global Rich List 2017 series, released on 7 March. Valuations are a snapshot of 15 January 2017.


  • 88 billionaires from 12 countries. Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said, “For every one self-made woman billionaire we found, we have missed at least one if not more, so you can bet your bottom dollar that the real number of self-made women dollar billionaires in the world is no less than 200 today.”
  • China has the most number of self-made women billionaires with 56, followed by USA with 15.
  • Average wealth US$2.2bn, up 11%; Average age 57 years, seven years younger than those on the Hurun Global Rich List.
  • Total Wealth US$194bn.
  • 43 saw their wealth increase. 33 saw their wealth decrease or stay the same. 12 new faces, led by sports team owner Denise York and car dealership tycoon Gail Miller, both from the USA.
  • 1/4 share wealth with spouse. Hoogewerf said, “Whilst every effort was made to value the women in their own right, in some cases the shareholdings are in both names and not possible to value in the individual’s name.”
  • 67% derived wealth from publicly listed companies
  • TMT has the most number of self-made women billionaires with 13, followed by Manufacturing and Retail with 11 billionaires each. The main difference with the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, was that Investments came in third above Real Estate.
  • The richest woman in the world is Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oreal, followed by Alice Walton of Walmart and Jacqueline Mars of Mars, who inherited from her father Forrest Mars Jr. Of the Top 20 richest women in the world, only two are self-made, with the rest inherited. Interestingly, Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of Steve Jobs, derives most of her wealth from Walt Disney rather than Apple.

Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said, “There are now more self-made women billionaires than ever before, however they only come from 12 countries in the world. We chose International Women’s Day to release this list, to celebrate the achievement of women in business.”

Hoogewerf said, “There can be no question anymore that China is the best place in the world to be a woman entrepreneur. The question I am often asked is ‘Why is China producing so many of the world’s most successful women in business?’ There is no Chinese in the Top 10 of the world’s self-made billionaire men, yet 6 of the Top 10 world’s self-made women billionaires are from China. The one-child policy coupled with traditional childcare, whereby grandparents often play a much larger role in bringing up the children than in developed countries, is perhaps a reason. Another is the business boom this generation has enjoyed in China.”


TABLE: Top 10 Self-Made Women

6 of the Top 10 are from China, led by Chen Lihua, 76.

Name Net Worth  (US$Bn) Main Company Country Age
1 Chen Lihua 7.2 FuWah China 76
2 Zhou Qunfei 6.0 Lens China 47
3 Zhou Hongwen & husband Xiao Jianhua 5.5 Tomorrow China
3 Tina Green & husband Philip Green 5.5 Arcadia UK 64

Chen Chunmei & husband Gong Hongjia

5.3 Hikvision China 52
6 Judy Love & husband Tom Love 4.8 Love’s Travel Stops USA
7 Wu Yajun 4.6 Longfor China 53
8 Zhang Yin 4.5 Nine Dragons Paper China 60
9 Peggy Cherng &  husband Andrew Cherng 4.4 Panda Express USA 69, 69
10 Lynda Resnick & husband Stewart Resnick 4.2 Roll International USA

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017.

With US$7.2bn, Chen Lihua, 76, of FuWah, is the most successful businesswoman in the world. Growing up in poverty, Chen moved to HK before returning to Beijing to set up her real estate group. Chen is married to well-known actor Chi Zhongrui.

‘Touchscreen Queen’ Zhou Qunfei, 47, of Lens Technology has US$6bn and was the richest self-made women in the world in 2015, after her company went public.

Zhou Hongwen, 46, co-founded Tomorrow Group with husband Xiao Jianhua. Recently, Inner Mongolia-born Zhou and Xiao have been in the news after Xiao went missing, presumed to be helping the Chinese authorities with their inquiries. They are worth US$5.5bn.

Tina Green, 64, is the richest non-Chinese on the list.  Together with husband Philip Green, they have US$ 5.5bn, and today live in Monaco. She owns all the family shares in Jersey-registered Taveta Investments.

Chen Chunmei, 52, along with husband Gong Hongjia, with a net worth of US$5.3bn, get most of their wealth from Hikvision Digital Technology, one of the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products.

With a net worth of US$4.8bn, Judy Love, 79, co-founded Love’s Travel Store & Country Stores along with husband Tom Love in 1964. Today Love’s has more than 300 locations in 39 states.

Another former Number One woman in the world, Wu Yajun, 53, made her fortune with leading real estate brand Longfor. Wu started out as a journalist.

‘Scrap Paper Queen’ Zhang Yin, 60, with a net worth US$4.5bn, is another former Number One in 2006. Zhang built a big scrap paper trading business out of California, before starting her own factories in China.

‘Chinese Restaurant Queen’ Peggy Cherng, 69, along with husband Andrew, are co-founders of the Chinese food restaurant chain Panda Express.  Panda Express is one of the world’s largest family-owned restaurant chains, with US$2.5 billion in sales. Burma-born Cherng recently purchased a beachfront mansion in Honolulu.

Lynda Resnick shares US$4.2bn with husband Stewart Resnick. Resnick is an active supporter of the arts in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

““Women from USA and UK have achieved exceptional success from Retail and Technology sectors. It can be noted that 4 out of the Top 10 world’s self-made women entrepreneurs are from the above countries. The gender gap among the billionaires are reducing year by year as women are found indulged in every line of business and they continue to explore new avenues of economic participation. ” , said Anas Rahman Junaid, Managing Director and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report India.

Other women of note that make the list

  • JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter, made the list with US$1.4bn.
  • He Qiaonv of Orient Landscape was the most generous self-made woman last year, donating US$450 million to charity
  • Oprah Winfrey has the largest social media following of any billionaire on the list
  • Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook COO

TABLE: By Country – Self-made Women Billionaires

China tops the list with 56 women billionaires, followed by USA and UK

Country No of Billionaires Richest Women  


Net Worth (US$bn)
1 China 56 Chen Lihua 76 7.2
2 USA 15 Judy Love 4.8
3 UK 8 Tina Green 64 5.5
4 Singapore 1 Luo Qianqian 44 3.5
4 Spain 1 Hortensia Herrero 66 3.1
4 Brazil 1 Dulce Pugliese de Godoy Bueno 69 2.3
4 Nigeria 1 Folorunsho Alakija 66 2.1
4 Italy 1 Giuliana Benetton 78 2.1
4 India 1 Kiran Mazumdar Shaw 63 1.9
4 Germany 1 Hedda Brahm Droege 62 1.8
4 Australia 1 Vicky Teoh 1.7
4 Denmark 1 Winnie Enevoldsen 61 1.6

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

TABLE: By City – Self-made Women Billionaires

The Top 5 cities are all in China, led by Beijing.

City No. of Billionaires Richest Woman
1 Beijing 10 Chen Lihua
2 Shanghai 9 Chen Shuhong
3 Shenzhen 8 Wu Chunyuan
4 Hangzhou 5 Wu Yan
4 Hong Kong 5 Zhou Hongwen

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017


TABLE: By Industry – Self-made Women Billionaires

TMT has 13 women billionaires and tops the list, followed by Manufacturing and Retail.

Industry No. of Billionaires Richest Woman
1 TMT 13 Zhou Qunfei
2 Retail 11 Tina Green
3 Manufacturing 11 Zhang Yin
4 Real Estate 8 Chen Lihua
5 Pharmaceuticals 7 Zhong Huijuan
5 Energy 5 Guo Tianshu
7 Investments 5 Zhou Hongwen
8 Logistics 4 Zhang Xiaojuan
8 Entertainment 3 Oprah Winfrey
10 Food & Beverage 3 Lynda Resnick

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017


TABLE: Top 10 Youngest self-made Women Billionaires

Hangzhou-based angWu Yan, 36 of Hakim is the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the world. There are 10 aged 45 or under.

Age Name Main Company Net Worth  (US$Bn)
36 Wu Yan Hakim 1.9
41 Chen Xiaoying Shentong Express 1.7
42 Chen Liying Yunda 1.7
43 Wu Lanlan Yuto Packaging Technology 1.8
44 Luo Qianqian Shanda 3.5
44 Zuo Xiaoping L&S 1.7
44 Bu Yang Suning 1.4
44 Peng Lei Alibaba, Ant Financial 1.4
45 Sheryl Sandberg Facebook 1.7
45 Sara Blakely Spanx 1.1

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017


Chinese Star Signs For the world’s most successful women in business, those born in the Year of the Ox and Year of the Sheep were equal Number One, followed by Pigs and Snakes. Those born in the Year of the Rat were least.  Curiously, when compared with the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, Snakes were also Top 3, but Pigs did much better with the women, whereas Monkeys, third on the Hurun Global Rich List, were second last for the women.

TABLE: Chinese Star Signs of the Hurun Global Women Billionaires

Hurun Global Women Billionaires Rank Star Sign % Hurun Global Rich List Rank
1 Ox 14% 4
1 Ram 14% 6
3 Snake 10% 1
3 Pig 10% 12
5 Dragon 8% 7
5 Tiger 8% 8
7 Horse 7% 2
7 Rabbit 7% 5
7 Dog 7% 8
7 Rooster 7% 11
11 Monkey 5% 3
12 Rat 3% 10

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017


TABLE: Self-Made Score Card

Overwhelmingly all of the Chinese are self-made without private education, whilst most of those in the US and UK had a private education.

Self-Made  Scorecard % of Women billionaires Top Countries (with %. of women billionaires) Example
5 72% 1. Greater China (89%) Self-made without parental financial support eg: Chen Lihua
2. USA (5%)
4 28% 1. USA (40%) Self-made, but with a helping hand from parents such as through private education eg: Tina Green
2. UK (28%)

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

TABLE: Top 20 Richest Women in World

The richest woman in the world is Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oreal, followed by Alice Walton of Walmart and Jacqueline Mars of Mars, who inherited from her father Forrest Mars Jr. Of the Top 20 richest women in the world, only two are self-made, with the rest inherited. Interestingly, Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of Steve Jobs, derives most of her wealth from Walt Disney rather than Apple.

Table: Top 20 Women Billionaires – Hurun Women Rich List

Name Net Worth  (US$) Main Company Source Age
1 Liliane Bettencourt 37 L’Oreal Inherited 94
2 Alice Walton 31 Wal-Mart Inherited 67
3 Jacqueline Mars 28 Mars Inherited 77
4 Maria Franca Fissolo 22 Ferrero Rocher inherited 75
5 Susanne Klatten 20 BMW Inherited 54
6 Elaine Marshall & family 18 Koch Industries Inherited 71
7 Iris Fontbona & family 17 Quinenco Inherited 74
8 Laurene Powell Jobs & family 15 Walt Disney Inherited 53
9 Abigail Johnson 13 Fidelity Inherited 55
10 Charlene Carvalho 11 Heineken Inherited 62
10 Gina Rinehart 11 Roy Hill Iron Ore Mine Inherited 62
10 Massimiliana Landini Aleotti & family 11 Menarini Inherited 73
13 Blair Parry-Okeden 10 Cox Enterprise Inherited 66
13 Kwong Siu Hing 10 Sun Hung Kai Inherited 88
13 Pao Pui Yung &Peter Woo (Husband) 10 Wheelock Inherited
16 Yang Huiyan 8.7 Country Garden Inherited 36
17 Babetta Albrecht & family 7.8 Aldi Nord & Trader’s Joe Inherited 57
18 Chen Lihua 7.2 Fu Wah Self-made 76
19 Zhang Xiaojuan & Yu Huijiao (Husband) 7.1 YTO Self-made, Self-made
20 Katharine Rayner 7.0 Cox Enterprise Inherited 72
20 Margaretta Taylor 7.0 Cox Enterprise Inherited 74

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Liliane Bettencourt from L’Oreal is the richest woman in the world with US$37bn. She is the heiress of French cosmetics giant L’Oreal and joined the company as an apprentice when she was 15. She also shares 13th position with Larry Page of Google in Hurun Global Rich List 2017.

Alice Walton of Walmart, with a net worth of US$31bn, is the second wealthiest women in the world and is the richest women in the USA. The 67-year-old Walton is the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. She and her family own about half of the retail behemoth.

Jacqueline Mars, 77, is the daughter of Forrest Mars Jr and granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founder of the American candy company Mars. With a net worth of US$28bn, she is the third wealthiest women of 2017.

Maria Franca Fissolo, 76, is the widow of Michele Ferrero, founder of Ferrero SpA, one of the world’s largest confectionery companies. She is fourth with a net worth of US$22bn.

Susanne Klatten, 54, of BMW with a net worth of US$20bn is the richest women in Germany. Susanne and her brother, Stefan Quandt, together hold half of BMW, inheriting the stake from founder Herbert.

Elaine Marshall, 71, of Koch Industries is the sixth wealthiest women, with US$18bn. Marshall’s wealth derives from holdings in Koch Industries willed to her by her husband, E. Pierce Marshall. She is also one of the nine members on the Koch Industries board and has moved up the 2017 charts after seeing a 13% increase in wealth.

Iris Fontbona, 74, widow of Andrónico Luksic is the richest person in Chile, with US$17bn.

Laurene Powell Jobs, 53, widow of Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc, has US$15bn. interestingly, most of her wealth is from shares in Walt Disney. She is co-founder and president of the Board of College Track, which prepares disadvantaged high school students for college.

Abigail Johnson, 54, runs US Investment Firm Fidelity Investments. Her wealth of US$13bn makes her one of the top 10 wealthiest women.  In October 2014, she took over the role of CEO from her father.

With a net worth of US$11bn, Charlene Carvalho, 62, is the richest woman in the UK, on the back of a 25% stake in Heineken, inherited from her father Freddy Heineken.

Gina Rinehart, 62, with a net worth of US$11bn is the richest woman in Australia.

With US$11bn, Massimiliana Landini Aleotti & family, 73, is the wealthiest woman in Italy. Her wealth is based on shares in pharmaceutical powerhouse Menarini. Landini is the wife of the late Alberto Aleotti who passed away in 2014 at the age of 91.

Margaretta Taylor, 74, and Katherine Rayner, 72, of Cox Enterprise have a fortune of US$7bn each and are heirs to the Cox family fortune. They received a 50% stake in the business from their mother, Anne Cox Chambers, 96, in an asset shuffling that became public in 2015.  They focus on philanthropy and have donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Atlanta Humane Society.


Wealth valuations are from the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, released 7 March 2017. Putting together this list of the world’s most successful women in business has been a challenge. For several wives with billionaire husbands, the shares are owned in the husband’s name, such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, but the donations are done in both spouses’ names, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates, Mark and Priscilla Chan.  However, when calculating the wealth of the women billionaires, we have only counted wealth that can be independently verified in their name.  In the case of Robin Li and Ma Dongmin of Baidu, for example, we can see the individual shareholding of Ma Dongmin, so we have valued her independently.  In the case of Peggy and Andrew Cherng, we can see both their names on the shareholdings but are not able to determine their value independently, so we have kept the total wealth and added the spouses’ name.


Hurun Global Self-Made Women Billionaires List 2017

For the full list, see www.hurun.net


Name Net Wealth US$bn % Change Main Company Age  Country of Residence
1 Chen Lihua 7.2 -5% Fu Wah 76 China
2 Zhou Qunfei 6.0 7% Lens 47 China
3 Tina Green & Philip Green (Husband) 5.5 31% Arcadia 64 UK
3 Zhou Hongwen & Xiao Jianhua (Husband) 5.5 34% Tomorrow China
5 Chen Chunmei & Gong Hongjia (Husband) 5.3 20% Hikvision Digital Technology 52 China
6 Judy Love & Tom Love (Husband) 4.8 1% Love’s Travel Stops USA
7 Wu Yajun 4.6 10% Longfor 53 China
8 Zhang Yin 4.5 22% Nine Dragons Paper 60 China
9 Peggy Cherng &  Andrew Cherng (Husband) 4.4 83% Panda Express 69, 69 USA
10 Lynda Resnick & Stewart Resnick (Husband) 4.2 -5% Roll International USA
11 Chen Shuhong  & Che Jianxing (Husband) 4.1 -7% Redstar Furniture China
11 Diane Hendricks 4.1 -3% Abc Supply 69 USA
13 Denise Coates 3.6 38% Bet365 48 UK
13 Guo Tianshu & Wang Guangxi (Husband) 3.6 6% Wintime China
15 Luo Qianqian & Chen Tianqiao (Husband) 3.5 21% Shanda 44 Singapore
16 Zhang Xiaojuan 3.4 196% YTO China
17 Hortensia Herrero 3.1 3% Mercadona 66 Spain
17 Zhang Xin & Pan Shiyi (Husband) 3.1 29% SOHO 52 China
19 Denise York 3.0 New San Francisco 49ers 66 USA
20 Ma Dongmin 2.9 8% Baidu 47 China
20 Zhong Huijuan 2.9 94% Hengrui Medicine, Haosen Medicine China
22 Oprah Winfrey 2.8 -4% Oprah Winfrey Network 63 USA
23 Chen Jinxia 2.7 17% Yongjin 49 China
23 He Qiaonv 2.7 42% Orient Landscape 51 China
23 Lu Qianfang & Chen Zhuolin (husband) 2.7 4% Agile Property 56 China
26 Wu Chunyuan 2.6 61% AAC Acoustic Technologies China
27 Dulce Pugliese de Godoy Bueno 2.3 53% Amil Participacoes 69 Brazil
27 Judy Faulkner 2.3 -62% Epic Systems 73 USA
27 Li Shanhu & Xu Yu (Husband) 2.3 5% Trendy China
30 Zhu Linyao 2.2 5% Huabao International 47 China
31 Folorunsho Alakija 2.1 -46% Famfa 66 Nigeria
31 Giuliana Benetton 2.1 -28% Benetton 78 Italy
31 Johnelle Hunt 2.1 -6% Jb Hunt Transport Services 85 USA
31 Zhou Xiaoguang 2.1 10% Xinguang China
35 Gail Miller 2.0 New Larry H. Miller Group 73 USA
36 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 1.9 90% Biocon 63 India
36 Martisa Lazari 1.9 New Lazari Investments 72 UK
36 Wu Yan 1.9 -10% Hakim 36 China
39 Hedda Brahm Droege 1.8 New Droege International 62 Germany
39 Wu Lanlan 1.8 New Yuto Packaging Technology 43 China
41 Chen Liying 1.7 New Yunda 42 China
41 Chen Xiaoying 1.7 42% Shentong Express 41 China
41 Dai Weili 1.7 70% Marvell 56 USA
41 Huang Xi 1.7 0% Goodfirst China
41 Sheryl Sandberg 1.7 19% Facebook 45 USA
41 Vicky Teoh & David Teoh (Husband) 1.7 -22% TPG Telecom Australia
41 Wang Laichun 1.7 13% Luxshare Precision 50 China
41 Zuo Xiaoping & Huang Lianxi (Husband) 1.7 13% L&S 44 China
49 Lei Jufang 1.6 33% Qizheng Pharmaceutical 64 China
49 Winnie Enevoldsen & Per Enevoldsen (Husband) 1.6 60% Pandora 61 Denmark
49 Zhang Yue’e & Pu Zhongjie (Husband) 1.6 -6% Lepu China
52 Doris Fisher 1.5 50% GAP 85 USA
52 J.K. Rowling 1.5 New Novelist 51 UK
52 Lai Yujing & Zhang Yue (Husband) 1.5 7% Broad China
52 Liao Qingqing 1.5 -52% Salubris Pharmaceuticals 68 China
52 Peter Coates 1.5 -42% Bet365 79 UK
52 Zhao Yan 1.5 New Bloomage 50 China
58 Bu Yang 1.4 8% Suning 44 China
58 Mary Perkins 1.4 -33% Specsavers 71 UK
58 Peng Lei 1.4 -7% Alibaba, Ant Financial 44 China
58 Wu Xueqin & Zhu Yicai (Husband) 1.4 -44% Yurun China
58 Zhai Li & Shi Zhengfu (Husband) 1.4 40% Tonghua 46 China
63 Cheng Xue 1.3 0% Haitian 47 China
63 Li Tan 1.3 7% Hepalink 53 China
63 Zheng Xiangling 1.3 -46% Sino Biopharmaceutial 53 China
66 Elaine Wynn 1.2 -5% Wynn Resort 74 USA
66 Elena Baturina 1.2 -20% Inteko 52 UK
66 Fan Zhaoxia 1.2 0% Jing Yun Tong China
66 Ma Xiuhui 1.2 150% Opple 46 China
66 Meg Whitman 1.2 2% Ebay 60 USA
66 Mei Dong & Gao Dekang (Husband) 1.2 -8% Bosideng China
66 Xu Xin 1.2 20% Capital Today China
73 Chen Baozhen 1.1 -15% Wangsu Science & Technology 74 China
73 Li Ping 1.1 -70% XinHu China
73 Sara Blakely 1.1 3% Spanx 45 USA
73 Wei Xuefeng 1.1 17% Jinjiang China
73 Zhao Baoju 1.1 28% ENN 52 China
78 Anne Graff 1.0 -47% Graff Diamonds UK
78 He Yiju 1.0 -14% AUX China
78 Huang Xiaofen 1.0 New Kingwong 54 China
78 Li Binlan 1.0 -9% A.Best 55 China
78 Lyu Hui & Chen Ningning 1.0 -9% Pioneer Metals 46 China
78 Wang Jia 1.0 -23% Venustech China
78 Xia Yibo & Song Weiping (Husband) 1.0 New Greentown China
78 Xiao Wenhui 1.0 0% Macrolink 60 China
78 Zeng Baobao 1.0 New Fantasia 46 China
78 Zhang Huiming 1.0 -44% Sound Environment China
78 Zhuo Jun 1.0 New Kingwong 51 China
78 Zhuo Jun 1.0 New Kingwong 51 China

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017



About Hurun Report Inc.

Nobody Knows China’s Rich Better!

Established as a research unit in 1999 by British accountant Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Inc. has grown into a leading media and research house based in Shanghai, China, best-known for its rankings of the richest people in China, India and the rest of the world.

Hurun Report Inc. has four divisions: Hurun Report Media, a stable of digital media and four magazines; Hurun Research Institute; Hurun Conferences, an active events division targeting entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals; and Hurun Investments, a US$20m early stage venture capital fund with investments into tech, media, retail and education. .

For further information, see www.hurun.net