According to Bloomberg, 47 year old Zhou Qunfei, the founder and CEO of Lens Technology, which makes glass screens for iPhones is the richest self-made woman on earth. Her net worth has been estimated at over $9 billion which makes Zhou not only the youngest self-made female billionaire, but also the richest self-made woman on earth.
For those who don’t know, Zhou grew up on a farm and dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to start working on the floor of a watch lens factory. She came of age at the perfect time to get in early on China’s liberalizing market.
With only a few thousand dollars, she founded her own company making watch lenses in 1993, at the age of 22.
According to Zhou in an interview with Times back in 2015, “during the period of China’s rapid economic growth, there were plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs, including women, It allowed me to develop my business. In the village where I grew up, a lot of girls didn’t have a choice of whether to go to middle school. They would get engaged or married and spend their entire life in that village”.
Today, Zhou’s company, Lens Technology now has at least 32 factories in seven different locations and employs more than 90,000 staff. She is married with two children. She works 18-hour days, and keeps a living quarters in her office.