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Kylie Jenner Isn’t a Self-Made Billionaire, Here’s 3 Women Who Are

Here at Her Campus, we support girl bosses all around and give credit when it’s due. But sometime we need to clarify things. Let’s get to it, shall we?

If you were anywhere on Twitter over the summer,  you head that Kylie Jenner was on Forbes Magazine and was featured in an article titled, “How 20-Year-Old Kylie Jenner Built A $900 Million Fortune In Less Than 3 Years.” She was given this title due to her very successful makeup company called Kylie Cosmetics that Jenner started in 2016. The launching of her website, with only lip kits, generated so much traffic that the website crashed. Jenner has now added eyeshadows, highlighters and blushes. The company is now valued with a net worth of nearly 800 million dollars according to forbes.com, and Jenner has a net worth about $900 million.

The new mom was a trending topic on twitter at the time, with CNBC calling the 21 year old “the youngest self-made billionaire.” The title was held previously by the Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg at 23, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at 31.  

In my opinion, this isn’t an accurate statement. I will not discredit the hard work that she has put into her company and being able to have such a large growth surge within such a short amount of time. However, Kylie is not a SELF-MADE billionaire. Again, this is not to say she did not work hard to ensure sure her business thrived, but she did not start from scratch.

Kylie started out with a very high social media outreach follower count. In 2016, Jenner had  CONFIRMED 10 million followers on Snapchat. Jenner also had 50 million followers on Instagram in 2016. This is way more than any average person would have when starting a company.

Jenner has also been on the E! reality show with her family, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, since 2007. She’s a well known celebrity and has the support of companies that will trust her with products, giving her the perfect platform to start her own company.

Jenner did not start out on her own, she did not work her way up the ladder. She was multiple steps ahead of anyone else with the same dream or aspiration. This also takes away from the actual self-made millionaires, especially hard-working female entrepreneurs.

Naturally, Twitter called her out while claiming that she didn’t deserve that title of “SELF-MADE.”

Screenshot via Twitter

Screenshot via Twitter

Screenshot via Twitter

Even Dictionary.com threw a little shade at the 21-year-old.

Screenshot via Twitter

So, without further ado, here’s a list of women who are actually SELF-MADE millionaires and billionaires.

Zhang Xin

Via Forbes

“The woman who built Beijing,” according to CNBC. With a net worth of 3.4 billion, Zhang was a traditional “started from the bottom” story. Growing up during the Cultural revolution in Beijing, she worked in a factory. She and her family eventually moved to Hong Kong, and with it  being a British colony at the time, she was able to move to the UK. She studied at the University of Sussex with a Bachelor’s of Economics and a Master’s in Development economics from Cambridge, all working while to be able to make some money to pay for basic things.

In 1995, she and her husband followed a real estate company in Beijing called Soho China, which is now regarded as the largest prime office property developer in China. She is now the CEO of the company. Xin and husband have donated “$25 million to Harvard and Yale and through the Soho China Foundation they gave $100 million to fund the undergraduate education of Chinese students at top universities around the world.”

Diane Hendricks

Via Finances Online

Hendricks is known for founding the ABC Supply, the largest wholesale roofing distributor in the United States. She has a current net worth of $4.9 billion. She faced many challenges growing up on a Wisconsin farm, becoming pregnant during her high-school career and having to grow up quickly to provide for her child. But that did not stop her from reaching and accomplishing her goals. “At the time, you couldn’t go to school and be pregnant,” says the 70-year-old, who studied at home during her senior year to get her diploma. “I would go up after the other students had left, and do my test and hand in my school work,” Hendricks says. “It was embarrassing, but it was okay.” She then met her husband and together built a successful business after seeing the need for a wholesale distributor for for roofing, they then opened their first store in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1982. In 1998, the company reached a billion dollars in sales.

After the passing of her husband in 2007, she took over the company herself and made it through the economic crisis in 2008. She worked on funding an auto mechanic shop in Beloit Memorial High-school, as well as programs to teach the academic aspects of construction in school.

Oprah Winfrey

Via Variety

You really thought I was going to skip over the epitome of a girl boss?

Oprah Winfrey, host of the Oprah Winfrey show which aired for 25 seasons from 1986 to 2011, has a net worth of $2.8 billion and is the owner of the OWN network. She didn’t have it easy.

Winfrey was born in Mississippi and at a young age was sexually abused by her mother’s male friends. She soon after moved to Nashville and studied at Tennessee State University. She eventually began working in broadcasting.

After working at the TV chat show People are Talking, she became the host of her own morning show A.M. Chicago. Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. By the end of the first year she reached 10 million people. During the 27 years of her career, Oprah has interviewed everyone who is everyone in the world from Taylor Swift to Barack Obama. She also bought shares in Weight Watchers and real estate.

We love an empowered, hard-working woman!

Salma Hamze

George Mason University '20

Salma is a senior at George Mason currently studying Communication with a double concentration in Public Relations and Media Criticism and Production with a minor in Journalism. Family, friends and food are some of her top priorities; along with music, film and books. Reading sparked an interest in not only writing fiction but real world topics as well. She hopes to work in Public Relations and be able to travel the world one day. She is also a sister of Alpha Xi Delta here on campus.
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