Kylie Jenner may soon be world’s youngest self-made billionaire

Kim Kardashian’s younger sister is said by ‘Forbes’ to be worth $900m, writes Joyce Fegan.

At just 20 years of age, Kylie Jenner, the half-sister of Kim Kardashian, is set to be the youngest ever self-made billionaire, according to Forbes magazine.

The magazine, in its ‘American Women Billionaires’ edition, estimates Jenner to be worth $900m, thanks to her two-year-old Kylie Cosmetics business.

Jenner is on track to pass Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, as the youngest self-made billionaire in history.

Zuckerberg was 22 when he became a billionaire. It is estimated that Jenner, who turns 21 next month, will take this title from him in less than a year.

Jenner is on a par with Jay-Z, who is the wealthiest man in hip-hop, at the age of 48.

Furthermore, Jenner’s more famous half-sister, Kim Kardashian, is estimated to be worth $350m.

Forbes compiled each of the women’s net worth, the value of their assets, and their company’s takings, by using stock prices from June 22.

While Jenner is a social media star, who earns money from endorsing products on her various platforms, the bulk of her income comes from Kylie Cosmetics.

Forbes estimates that her company is valued at $800m.

In terms of how her business is structured, manufacturing, packaging, sales, finance, and public relations are all outsourced.

Jenner has no listed office and works from her mother Kris Jenner’s home. Kylie is the sole owner of the cosmetics business, which is best known for its lip kits, a box that includes a liquid lipstick and matching lip liner. 

As sole owner, she reaps all profits, but her mother, who handles her business affairs, take a 10% cut.

The million-dollar business has seven full-time and five part-time employees.

Other sources of income for Jenner include several million dollars from her share of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, as well as endorsement deals with Puma and PacSun.

While not yet a billionaire and nor the world’s youngest ever self-made billionaire, as of yet, Jenner falls 27th on the Forbes’ list, but is still the cover image of the ‘American Women Billionaires’ edition.

There are 60 women on the list, including Oprah Winfrey, whose worth of $3.1bn has her in sixth place.

Other notable names include Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, in 12th position with $1.5bn, Madonna 36th with $590m and fashion designer Vera Wang, 34th, with $630m.

Forbes, which only began tracking women’s wealth in 2015, estimates that the 60 entrepreneurs combined hold $71bn.

This is an increase of 15% from last year’s total worth. It is also the highest amount of collective money since Forbes began the list, four years ago. While famous names derive their wealth from media, music, and cosmetics, many of the women on the list are making their fortune from venture capital, biotech, and building supplies.

Jenner, who is the youngest person on the list, has stolen the title of the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire from Spanx creator Sara Blakely. In 2012, Forbes identified Blakely, who created the seamless undergarment brand from her apartment floor, as being a billionaire.

Blakely learned to write her own patent from a book in Barnes and Noble, did not spend money on advertising, and instead sent a pair of underwear to the Oprah Winfrey Show.

She cashed out $5,000 in savings, at age 29, to start the business.

Blakely, when listed in 2012, was the youngest female billionaire who did not receive her money from an inheritance or a spouse. Today, she still owns 100% of the company and started it while selling fax machines door-to-door.

Blakely’s self-made story has brought Forbes some criticism for describing Jenner in similar terms. While no one was denying Jenner’s success nor criticising her for it, ‘self-made’ usually refers to rags to riches stories, such as Blakely’s or Oprah Winfrey’s (she was born into poverty in rural Missouri). The point of the criticism was that no one could see any rags with Jenner, who became a reality TV star at the age of 9.

“Basically, all Jenner does to make all that money is leverage her social media following,” read the Forbes article.

Other young female entrepreneurs who did not make the list but who may in the future, as more and more women see their wealth increase, include Bumble dating app founder Whitney Wolfe, with an estimated worth of $290m, and Seema Bansal, 27, of e-commerce business success Venus ET Fleur.



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