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The UK’s top ten female entrepreneurs: Countdown part 2

Welcome to our second instalment of the UK’s richest ladies, if you missed the first, you can find it here.

The likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the Google guys are well publicised. And while the figures suggest it’s still very much a man’s world when it comes to billionaires (the top 10 richest people in the world are all men), the world’s richest women also receive their fair share of press attention.

But what about the ladies who made their way onto the rich list not through inheritance, but through their own hard graft and business acumen?

Using figures from Forbes and other authority sources, here Money.co.uk pays tribute to the female entrepreneurs who have built themselves and their fortunes from the ground up.

Looking at the fortunes of both the top ten in the whole world and also just those in the UK, they have listed profiles of each influential women, their net worth and, purely for dramatic effect, what they could buy with their extensive fortunes.

so without further ado, starting at number 5, here are the UK’s richest women:

5. Rita Sharma

net worth: $71m (£44m) (estimated)

Sharma is the uk’s richest asian female entrepreneur and with her husband, rahul sharma, is within the top twenty richest asian families in britain. she got to the top with worldwide journeys, a bespoke london travel agency established in 1986.

what she could buy with her net fortune:

178 average priced houses in the united kingdom, with enough left over to pay the council tax on most of them for a year

4. Karen Brady

net worth: $131m (£82m) (estimated)

Heralded as the first lady of british football, karen brady started out in advertising but quickly caught the keen eye of publisher david sullivan. Under his encouragement and financial backing, she bought and managed birmingham f.c. at the age of 23.

what she could buy with her net fortune:

Nearly 700,000 tesco value footballs

3. Martha Lane Fox

net worth: $500m (£313m) (estimated)

Martha Lane Fox founded lastminute.com alongside brent hoberman at the peak of the dot com bubble. lane fox stood down from the company in 2003, just as the profits started to fall. lastminute.com was sold in early 2005.

what she could buy with her net fortune:

4 and a half London eyes. (or 14.7 million tickets to ride the attraction itself)

2. Jacqueline Gold

net worth: $860m (£537m)

Gold worked a few low-paying jobs, including work experience at her father’s newly acquired ann summers chain of stores. it was here that she hit upon the idea of the ann summers party plan – a home marketing scheme for selling sex toys and lingerie.

what she could buy with her net fortune:

1,933,333,333 pints of milk… that’s enough to fill 440 Olympic swimming pools.

1. J.K Rowling

net worth: $1bn (£624m)

jo rowling’s success is the archetypal rags to riches story. while living on state welfare, she began writing what was to become one of the world’s most profitable book franchises. rowling was given a $2,400 (£1,500) advance on harry potter and the philosopher’s stone in 1995, and was advised by her publishing company to get a day job as financial success for the book was slim.

what she could buy with her net fortune:

The White House, nearly four times over. (which would give her a total of 528 rooms to write in)

This article was first published on Money.co.uk and has been reprinted with their permission


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  1. […] Following on from our popular countdown of the UK’s top 10 richest business women 10 to 6 and 5 to 1, we’re now bringing you Money.co.uk‘s top ten women […]

  2. DJ Colter says

    I like JK Rowling’s story. Believe in yourself. Never give up. Never count yourself down and out just because of what other people say. Success is never a straight line. It’s a big jumbled mess. But that’s what makes it fun along the way and worth it in the end.

  3. Rachael Macgregor says

    Wow, these are some inspiring women! I need to go check out the rest as I have only heard of J.K before.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Chad Hooper says

    Wow J.K Rowling is worth a billion dollars… That’s inspirational whether you are a female entrepreneur or a male entrepreneur. I love the stories about how people rise out of poverty to become wildly rich. It’s graet for moral.

  5. IT Rush says

    Very inspiring, still agree that men are always on the top.. :p

  6. germaine gibson says

    JK Rowlings of course – but Karen Brady – birmingham fc – excellent

  7. Jane says

    Jk rowling always be my idol. She proves the “never give up” attitude.

  8. Schwinn says

    JK Rowling is my favorite. I’ve read her biography and I think that was so inspiring one. I also love her story on Harry Potter.

  9. Lesley Brown says

    Don’t be envious of wealth, you can be a good human being without wealth, you can be loved without wealth, you can have true friends without wealth. If you have these things then you are in fact already wealthy. Work towards your goals a day at a time and be true and honest, wealth in all its guises will flow towards you.

  10. Mike says

    Interesting stuff! I am inspired after reading about all these female entrepreneurs. I’ve read a lot about J.K Rowling on Wikipedia and she is an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

  11. Brian Roldan says

    That’s great!! Other people said that if you are a woman you can only stay at home watching your kids but now woman can become a successful in the field of business.