5 of the world’s inspirational women in business

Zhou Qunfei


Zhou Qunfei has a net worth of over US$8 billion, and is the richest self-made woman on the planet. Her humble beginnings make her trajectory that much more impressive. She grew up in a small village in central China. Her mother died when she was five and her father became partially blinded and lost a finger in an industrial accident, according to The New York Times. As a child, she began raising pigs and ducks to bring in additional food and money for the family.

Folorunso Alakija

Nigeria’s richest woman, Folorunso Alakija, who, like most entrepreneurs became a billionaire without a university degree. she was the 8th child out of a family of 52 children, and had faced challenges and setbacks in life but overcame. Her desire was to study law but her father did not believe in investing in girls at that time. She is the Vice Chair of Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa Oil, which shares a joint partnership agreement with international giants Chevron and Petrobras. With a 60 per cent stake of block OML 127 of the Agbami field, one of Nigeria’s largest deepwater discoveries, Famfa Oil produces approximately 250,000 barrels of crude per day.

Tatyana Bakalchuk

In 2004 Bakalchuk still used public transportation in Moscow to pick up packages with clothes from Germany. Back then she was an English teacher on maternity leave. She had an idea to make money by reselling Otto and Quelle catalogues. All her startup capital went towards the site.

Today the Wildberries Internet retail shop, which Bakalchuk owns with her husband, is one of the fastest growing companies in Russia. In 2017 it generated $1.1 billion. The company is also present in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Eren Ozmen


Born in Izmir, Turkey in 1968 and emigrated to the US in the early 80’s to further her education, Eren Ozmen is a self-made billionaire, her story echoing those of people across the times crossing the atlantic in seek of milk and honey, this inovative thinker has realised her American dream. She is the president and majority owner of private aerospace and defense company Sierra Nevada Corp and she is now worth US$1.5 billion. She is one of our inspiring women we acknowledge today through her philantrophic work.

JK Rowling

Image: variety

The author of the Harry Potter books was an unemployed single parent when she came up with the idea for Harry Potter. She started writing in Edinburgh cafes, while her daughter slept in her pushchair. The first Harry Potter novel was initially rejected by 12 publishers. The Harry Potter books went on to sell over 400 million copies, becoming the best-selling series of books of all time. The subsequent series of films has become the highest-grossing film series in history. Unlike many authors, JK Rowling ensured that she had script approval and creative control over the film adaptations of her work.


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