These female entrepreneurs are so rich, they could buy a lifetime supply of tea and crumpets without breaking a sweat!
There is nothing better than a rags-to-riches storyline. Impressively, there are many of these tales among women in British business. In 2010, the Cranfield School of Management’s Female FTSE Report said that women would own three-fifths (60%) of all personal wealth in Britain by the middle of this decade. It could well be coming to light when you consider the richest female entrepreneurs in society today. Sitting comfortably at the top of the pile is Denise Coates, part of the Coates family that own Stoke City Football Club. Coates launched an online bookmaking business, bet365, having owned and managed a string of high-street retail bookmaking shops. Since 2001, the bet365 brand has grown into a global iGaming behemoth. It’s said to have over 45 million betting customers globally with Coates earning £421m in a single year back in 2021.
In fact, including Coates’ additional dividends as a shareholder, she would earn a grand total of £469m for 12 months’ work in 2021. This is the equivalent to earning approximately £1.2m daily. Staggeringly, this figure was more than the bosses of every company listed within the FTSE 100 index, according to the High Pay Centre. In October 2019, Forbes magazine forecasted Coates’ net worth at £10.13bn.
Although Coates’ earnings dwarfs the income of every other female entrepreneur in the UK, there are plenty other inspiring success stories from women in business right now.
Dame Mary Perkins
79-year-old Mary Perkins co-founded the optometry giants Specsavers in 1984. In nearly 40 years, this brand has grown into one of the biggest ophthalmic experts in the UK. By the turn of 2011, Perkins had overseen the company into a firm with £1.5bn annual turnover and a 30,000-strong workforce across the UK, mainland Europe and Australia.
In her latter years, Perkins has remained on the board of directors, with her number-one priority being to oversee the offline and online PR of the Specsavers brand. BBC Radio 4 described Perkins as one of the 100 most powerful ladies in the UK back in 2013.
Dame Ann Gloag
Scottish entrepreneur Dame Ann Gloag is the richest woman in Scotland. Having worked as a nurse for the best part of 20 years, Gloag utilised her father’s redundancy package to develop a new transport company, Stagecoach Group, in 1980. The firm launched long-distance bus journeys between Dundee and London.
In the 1990s, Stagecoach embarked upon rapid expansion, acquiring services and routes spanning the north-east, north-west, Midlands and south-east of England. Gloag’s estimated net worth now stands at circa £700m, with Stagecoach now a well-established nationwide transport service.
J.K. Rowling may be a decorated author and the mastermind of the Harry Potter series, but she has become an entrepreneur in her own right. The 57-year-old, who was training to become a teacher when drafting her inaugural Harry Potter book, went on to write a seven-volume series. More than 600 million copies were shifted worldwide, with the story translated into 84 languages. This helped it become the best-selling series of all time.
In fact, Harry Potter itself would go on to become a worldwide media franchise, inspiring movie releases on the big screen and multiple video game titles too. Rowling is now said to have an estimated net worth of £820m.
Baroness Brady is another female in the success story in British entrepreneurs. Not only did she break through the glass ceiling of the corporate ranks, but she also cemented herself as a leading figure in the world of football. The 53-year-old started out in the world of advertising with agency Saatchi & Saatchi, before moving to the London Broadcasting Company, selling £2m worth of advertising in just six months for some of LBC’s biggest clients — namely the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport, owned by David Sullivan.
Brady teamed up with Sullivan in a buyout of ailing English football club, Birmingham City. Brady was managing director of the Blues aged just 23 and later moved with Sullivan and co-partner David Gold when they assumed the helm of West Ham United in January 2010. In 2014, she received a CBE for her services to women in business and entrepreneurship.