World’s Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs of 2013

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Based on Forbes list of most powerful women, I am presenting 16 self made female entrepreneurs of 2013.  These are powerful women in the world today.  These females are challenging a woman’s “place” in business.  These inspirational ladies are transforming the business platform regardless of where they live; developed or undeveloped countries.  Be inspired by these change makers and learn that anything is possible for anyone if one is willing to do what everyone else refuses to do and has a definite purpose regardless of gender, location, childhood, race, ethnicity, etc.  Here are the most powerful female entrepreneurs of 2013:

Sara Blakely:

sara blakely

Founder of Spanx

Revenue: Spanx receives over $250 million annually

How It Started: At 29, Blakely invested her $5,000 life savings trying to find a flattering solution to wear under her white slacks to hide her thong lines.

Accomplishment: Blakely is the world’s youngest self made billionaire.

Blakely went from being a Disney World greeter and door-to-door salesperson to today, where she owns 100% of Spanx.

Gisele Bundchen:

gisele bundchen

Founder of Sejaa Pure Skincare, Supermodel, Lucrative Merchandising Partnerships

Net Worth – $42 million

How It Started: Throughout her career, Bundchen became very involved in humanitarian and environmental work.  She became more aware of what she was putting in and on her body.  This was her inspiration to develop the ideal skincare collection.

Accomplishment: Bundchen is on track to becoming the world’s first billionaire supermodel, as well as Brazil’s first self-made model.

As a child, Bundchen dreamed of being a professional volleyball player until she found her purpose after taking a modeling course at 13.

Tory Burch:

tory burch

Founder and CEO of Self Named Tory Burch, fashion

Net Worth – $1 billion

Adversity – As Burch launched her business, she found it difficult to adjust to the long hours of commitment and her work life balance.  She would put her children to bed and then be on the phone until 4 am with her office in Hong Kong.

Big Break – Burch received 8 million hits on her website and media coverage from her editor friends in the magazine world after receiving a shout out from Oprah Winfrey show’s “Next Big Thing.”

Burch has organized the Tory Burch Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering female entrepreneurs.

Weili Dai:

weili dai

Co-founder of Marvell Technology Group Ltd.

Net Worth – $1 billion

Adversity – Marvell has been appealing a court ruling forcing the company to pay Carnegie-Mellon University $1.17 billion in a data storage patent infringement case.  This case is still ongoing.

Accomplishment – Dai is the only woman co-founder of a global semi-conductor company

Dai uses her platform as a leading foreign-born engineer to gain support for immigration reform.  She is particularly involved in keeping highly skilled international technology grads in the US.

Arianna Huffington:

arianna huffington

Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Huffington Post

Huffington sold the Huffington Post for $300 million to AOL and became president and editor-in-chief of company’s Huffington Post Media Group.

How It Started – The online site was launched in 2005.  Huffington Post was initially known for its blogging, liberal punditry, and news aggregation.

Accomplishment – Huffington Post publishes international editions in Canada, Great Britain, France, and Spain

Huffington is the author of more than a dozen books.

Huffington Post site hit 250 million comments in May 2013.

Beyonce Knowles:

beyonce knowles

Co-Founder of House of Dereon, Actress, Musician

Net Worth – $53 million

Adversity – In 2008, Beyonce received much criticism in the press for House of Dereon’s new kids line.

Inspiration – Beyonce is inspired by her grandmother, Agnez Dereon, a self-taught seamstress from New Orleans who created custom clothing and home furnishings throughout the south in earlier years.

Beyonce created House of Dereon with her mother, Tina.

Yang Lan:

yang lan

Co-Founder of Sun Television Cybernetworks (Sun TV)

When traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange in April 1999, SunTV was valued at $179 million

Risk – Lan chose to report on in-depth journalism over the popular mass-market variety-show format.  It was this risk that captured the attention of Lan’s many viewers.

Within the first year of her first media job with Zheng Da, Lan made the show China’s top-rated television program, with an audience of 220 million; reviewers of the show began to compare Lan to Oprah Winfrey.

Lan has sold over 600,000 copies of a book of essays, travel logs, and historical sketches she compiled while at Columbia University.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw:

kiran mazumdar shaw

Founder of Biocon

In 2010, Biocon made $93 million profit on $466 million in revenue.

Inspiration – Shaw watched her close friend battle, struggle, and eventually lose to cancer.  This impacted Shaw’s life and allowed her to determine her meaningful purpose; to create affordable cancer center for the rising number of individuals who are affected by the killer disease each day.

How It Started – In 1978, starting with around $1,000 in seed money, Shaw set up a manufacturing unit that became India’s largest enzyme company.  This company was transformed into a bio-pharmaceutical company in the early 2000’s.

Shaw knows her mission and purpose in life is to create a legacy of affordable healthcare.

Rosalia Mera:

rosalia mera

Co-Founder of Inditex

Mera is the world’s wealthiest self made woman with a net worth of $6.1 billion

Revenue – $22 billion per year

Risk – 11-year old Mera left school to work as a seamstress.

Accomplishment – The line of clothing Mera began producing at her home was eventually built into an international retailer.

Rosalia Mera passed away at 69 after expanding her company to 400 cities worldwide.

J.K. Rowling:

JK rowling

Founder of the Harry Potter Empire, author

Net Worth – $1 billion

Adversity – Early in her life, Rowling experienced a short-lived marriage, she was jobless, a single mother, and she was as poor as she could possibly get in Great Britain without being homeless.  To her though, failure meant stripping away the inessentials in her life.  Rowling began to direct all her energy into finishing the one work that mattered most to her, and through this, discovered her purpose.

Accomplishment – Rowling went from a well-fare mother to building a billion-dollar branding empire.

J.K. Rowling is the first billion-dollar author.

Sofia Vergara:

sofia vergara

Co-Founder of Latin WE (Latin World Entertainment), actress

Net Worth – $30 million

Latin WE 2011 Revenue – $27 million

Adversity – When Vergara came to the US in 1995, she had no one to represent her.  Vergara saw opportunity, but could not find a manager.  She eventually paid an intern to step in as her manager.

Accomplishment – “I can’t think of anyone else on U.S. television with such a thick accent since Ricky Riccardo,” she told Forbes with a big smile on her face.

Sofia Vergara is Forbes’ Top-Earning Actress on U.S. Television.

Diane von Furstenberg:

diane von furstenberger

Founder of DVF, fashion

Life Lessons – Von Furstenberg’s mother was liberated from Auschwitz concentration camp.  This taught her that fear is not an option in life.

Accomplishment – Von Furstenberg’s collections are sold in over 55 countries, and she has dressed Michelle Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Diane von Furstenberg has found freedom, very simple freedom and independence through her work.

Cher Wang:

cher wang

Co-Founder of HTC

HTC Market Capitalization – $21 billion

Adversity – Wang is orchestrating her way through ongoing patent battles between HTC and Apple.

Accomplishment – HTC phones are among the best sellers at AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Cher Wang and her husband are worth $6.8 billion, making them the wealthiest couple in Taiwan.

Oprah Winfrey:

oprah winfrey

Founder and CEO of OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)

Net Worth – $2.9 billion

Adversity – Since its inception, OWN has been a struggling network.  The network’s cash flow was finally positive for the first time in 2013.

Accomplishment – Winfrey is Forbes’ Highest-Earning Celebrity of 2013 (grossing $77 million).

Oprah Winfrey is Forbes’ only African American billionaire.

Zhang Xin:

zhang xin

Co-Founder of SOHO China, real estate

Net Worth – $3.7 billion

Adversity – Being in the real estate industry, Xin has to worry about how the real estate bubble in China may affect her business.  The real estate bubble also leads to many hated real estate developers like herself.

Accomplishment – Xin’s company is one of the largest property developers in China

Wu Yajun:

wu yajun

Co-Founder of Longfor Properties, real estate

Net Worth – $3.7 billion

Adversity – Yajun recently divorced her husband, giving him a 30% stake in the company.  Longfor Properties’ stock declined after the divorce news broke out, but has rebounded somewhat since.

Accomplishment – In October 2013, Yajun was China’s richest woman.

Wu Yajun holds a degree in navigation engineering from Northwestern Polytechnic University.

In this list of the world’s most powerful female entrepreneurs, I have highlighted adversity, inspiration, and rising above that adversity which has led these women to remarkable accomplishments.  Many of these women were looking for solutions to problems they found in their every day lives.  Many of the entrepreneurs on this list found their meaningful purpose through these solutions and through their work.  BE INSPIRED!  Go out and find what you were put on this earth to do, what you are naturally inclined to do, your personal talents and uniqueness.  Above all, when you find your mission in life, stop at nothing to achieve that mission.  Battle adversity, keep your vision at the forefront and achieve every dream and goal you have during your lifetime!  Go out and do what you were put here to do!

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