At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever


Kylie Jenner has become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, according to Forbes billionaires’ list.

The youngest Kardashian family member is making her fortune from her best-selling cosmetics business.

The 21-year-old founded and owns Kylie Cosmetics, the three-year-old beauty business that generated an estimated $360m in sales last year.

She reached the milestone earlier than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who became a billionaire aged 23.

“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back,” Ms Jenner told Forbes.

The list shows Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, remains the world’s richest man. His fortune totals $131bn, according to Forbes, up $19bn from 2018.

But the billionaires’ combined worth is down from $9.1 trillion at $8.7tn.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is among those falling. It has dropped by $8.7bn (£6.6bn) in the past year to $62.3bn, according to the Forbes list.

His shares in Facebook at one point lost a third of their value as the company battled privacy scandals.

Amazon’s share price has been good for Mr Bezos’ bank balance and the gap between him and the number two, Bill Gates, is a little wider, even though Mr Gates’ fortune has swelled to $96.5bn from $90bn last year.

Of all the billionaires on the list only 252 are women, and the richest self-made woman is real estate mogul Wu Yajun of China, worth an estimated $9.4bn.

The number of self-made women reached 72 for the first time, up from 56 a year ago.

How self-made are these billionaires?
Forbes defines being self-made as “someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it.”

To account for the benefits of family wealth and to better reflect how far some people have come in relation to others, Forbes introduced a scale in 2014 that ranges from 1 for someone who entirely inherited their wealth to 10 for someone who is entirely self-made.

Oprah Winfrey, for example, who was raised by a single mother in poverty, is a 10, according to Forbes. Similarly George Soros, who survived the Nazi occupation of his home country of Hungary and later fled to England where he worked his way through the London School of Economics as a railway porter and waiter, is also a 10.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who have inherited wealth and have not actively worked to increase it. Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, are 1s.

Where does Kylie Jenner fall? At a 7.

She is just one notch below Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, who are all 8s on Forbes’ scale.
But she’s considered more self-made than Meg Whitman, who went to Princeton University and Harvard Business School before becoming an executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, who also attended Harvard University and is now the chief operating officer at Facebook.

And according to Forbes, Jenner is more self-made than President Donald Trump. He rates a 4 on the scale.

The vast majority of the world’s wealthiest are self made, according to Wealth X, which tracks global wealth.

About 30% of the ultra wealthy — who, like Jenner, have wealth that exceeds $30 million — received some or all of their fortune from inheritance. But a higher proportion, 70%, created their own wealth.