As recently as March of 2020, there were 2,095 billionaires reported worldwide, according to Forbes. The total net worth of all these billionaires combined reaches an astounding $8 trillion. That’s $700 billion less than 2019, but hey—it’s still an undeniably large number.
Something else that’s undeniable is how few of these billionaires are Black. Currently, only 6 of the 615 billionaires living in the US are Black, highlighting a clear lack of diversity.
Black Billionaires in 2021
Below, we discuss the financial successes of seven fascinating, self-made Black billionaires worldwide who have blasted through this barrier to achieve astounding success.
1. Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)
Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest Black billionaire in the world, including his home country of Nigeria—so he’s certainly worthy of the top spot.
Dangote’s real-time net worth as of July 2020 is an astonishing $7.8 billion. He is currently Africa’s largest cement producer. The company is aptly named Dangote Cement, which he founded and chairs.
Through a holding company, he owns 85% of Dangote Cement, which supplies 45.6 million metric tons every year. He also has significant stakes in salt and sugar manufacturing companies.
His endeavors don’t end there. He started an oil refinery, Dangote Refinery, that will be one of the world’s largest upon completion.
2. Robert F. Smith (U.S.A.)
Investor Robert F. Smith is the U.S.A.’s richest Black billionaire. His current net worth is no small number: $5 billion as of July 2020.
In the year 2000, Robert F. Smith founded a private equity firm called Vista Equity Partners, which invests in software companies and is where the majority of Smith’s billions come from. Vista alone has over $50 billion in assets.
Smith’s history is an ambitious one.
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As a college student, he landed an internship after calling the company every week for five months straight. As an engineer, he worked for Kraft Foods and Goodyear Tire. He eventually attended Columbia University, where he earned his MBA.
How does Smith spend his money? One noticeable gesture was when he wiped the student debt of Morehouse College’s 2019 graduates clean.
3. Michael Jordan (U.S.A.)
We all know and love the fitness king Michael Jordan. It’s no surprise that he’s also one of the U.S.A.’s six Black billionaires as the NBA’s greatest-ever player.
As of July 2020, Michael Jordan‘s net worth totals about $2.1 billion. He made much of his money, about $90 million, from his career as a Chicago Bulls athlete. Another $1.7 billion comes from corporate partners.
Even though Jordan has been out of the game for almost two decades, he still has sponsorships with several big names, including Hanes, Upper Deck, and Gatorade.
4. Oprah Winfrey (U.S.A.)
Oprah Winfrey, the first Black woman billionaire on the list, has a total net worth of $2.6 billion.
It all started humbly enough with a popular talk show. From there, Winfrey turned her one show into an entire media empire, proving her business savviness. She also reinvested the profits from her TV show, earning her an astounding $2 billion.
Winfrey owns 25% of OWN, her cable channel, which is estimated at $75 million by itself. She’s also a brand ambassador of Weight Watchers and is still frequently seen on the television.
5. Isabel dos Santos (Angola)
Isabel dos Santos is Africa’s richest woman—and she’s currently going through criminal investigations about the funds that earned her a place on this list.
How did Santos, the daughter of the former Angolan president, make her money? Some of her opponents claim it was through corruption and exploitation of the country from which she comes. During her father’s Presidency, Isabel dos Santos was suspected of receiving exclusive access to land, oil, telecom, and diamond deals that were immensely profitable.
According to dos Santos, the claims have no merit and are a political “witch hunt” against her. She claims the Angolan government has political motives which caused them to freeze her assets. She stands behind the statement that the allegations against her are false.
Only time will tell for dos Santos.
6. Jay-Z (U.S.A.)
Rapper Jay-Z, the founder of Roc Nation Sports, is currently worth a cool $1 billion.
Although the rapper hasn’t performed or released an album in a year, he still has side projects bringing him in significant amounts of money: his Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac. This diversity in his portfolio earned him the title of hip-hop’s first billionaire only last year in 2019.
Some of his most notable assets include a valuable fine art collection, as well as his entertainment company, Roc Nation.
His investment firm Marcy Venture Partners, founded with two others, focuses on investing in “consumer and culture” and earned a whopping $85 million in 2019.
7. David Steward (U.S.A.)
Businessman David Steward, the co-founder and chair of IT provider World Wide Technology, is worth $3.5 billion as of July 2020.
Before he made his billions, he often went without a paycheck and even had his car repossessed once. Now, the tables have turned: As the majority owner of World Wide Technology, which owns Citi and Verizon, among others, Steward has access to $12 billion in company earnings.
It’s safe to say that Steward loves his jazz, too. He donated $1.3 million to the University of Missouri to create an institute for jazz studies, so named after himself and his partner.
Get Inspired by These Black Billionaires
If this list proves anything, it’s that Black billionaires are breaking down barriers and making history as they do it. Each one used a different avenue for making their billions and leverages their income streams differently.
While you’re musing about these money-makers, why not consider your own streams of income? Click here to see how to create multiple flows of income this year—and keep perusing this blog for more financial inspiration.
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