isabel dos santos
isabel dos santos

Billion-Dollar Lionesses – These Six Women Took Ideas And Ran With Them Straight To The Bank

It is not easy to turn an idea into a profit let alone a billion dollars. But here are six billion-dollar Lionesses who did just that.

It is not easy to turn an idea into a profitable and sustainable business. If it was, so many startups wouldn’t fail. How about going a step further and crafting a product or service that produces billions in revenue? It’s not impossible. Here are six billion-dollar Lionesses who did just that.

Chu Lam Yiu, Huabao International Holdings

Billion-Dollar Lionesses - Chu Lam You - Lioness Magazine


Huabao International Holdings CEO Chu Lam Yiu is a self-made billionaire worth $2.1 billion. While the bulk of her wealth is from Huabao, the fragrances and tobacco flavoring company she started in 1996 when she was 26 years old, Yiu has made investments in a variety of industries that includes medicine and manufacturing.  – photo courtesy of

Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21

Billion-Dollar Lionesses - Jin Sook Chang - Lioness Magazine

The chain, originally known as Fashion 21, was intended at first mostly for middle-aged women. The store was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1984 by Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook Chang. By the end of the first year sales were reported to have risen from $35,000 to $700,000. Fashion 21 eventually expanded at the rate of a new store every six months and changed the Fashion 21 brand name to its current name, Forever 21. Her net worth is approximately $3.1 billion and her two daughters have since taken an active role in running the company. – photo on file

Margaret Whitman, ebay

Billion-Dollar Lionesses  - Meg Whitman - Lioness Magazine

After taking the helm at ebay, reorganizing and restructuring the company and its brand, Whitman made the company soar. During Whitman’s tenure as CEO, eBay completed the purchase of Skype for $4.1B in cash and stock in September 2005. In 2009, Skype was sold by eBay at a valuation of $2.75B. In 2011, Skype was bought by Microsoft for US$8.5. Her personal holdings are valued at $1.6 billion. – photo courtesy of Max Morse

Isabel dos Santos, Investor

Isabel dos Santos - isabel dos santos - Lioness Magazine

dos Santos started her first business, a nightclub/restaurant in on Luanda Island, at the age of 24. Over her career she made several lucrative investments in large enterprises. According to Forbes, “her assets include 25% of Unitel, Angola’s largest mobile phone network, and a stake in a bank, Banco BIC. In Portugal she owns a nearly 7% chunk of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim), and nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank. She is also a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon).” With a $3.5 billion networth, she is considered the richest woman in Africa. Her father is Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos. – photo courtesy of Facebook

J.K. Rowling, Novelist

Isabel dos Santos - J.K. Rowling - Lioness Magazine

This British author was working as a bilingual secretary at Amnesty International when she first dreamed up her hit book series “Harry Potter” while waiting to catch a train. After the manuscript was rejected 12 times, the publishing house Bloomsbury finally said yes. According to Wikipedia, the series has “become the best-selling book series in history “and the subsequent films is “the second highest-grossing film series in history.” Forbes lists the author as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books. – photo courtesy of the White House

Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos

Billion-dollar Lionesses - Elizabeth Holmes - Lioness Magazine

This entrepreneur hated needles and at the age of 19 founded Theranos, a ground-breaking blood diagnostics company worth more than $9 billion. As previously reported in Lioness, “the company has patented its secret technology of performing 200 different blood tests (soon growing to over 1,000 different tests) without using a syringe. They use a few drops of blood drawn using a finger stick to minimize discomfort, and collected in a “nanotainer”; a container the size of an electric fuse.” As the now 31-year-old genius behind the venture, Holmes’ net worth is estimated at $4.5 billion. – photo courtesy of

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