From high school dropout to billionaire? If it doesn’t seem possible, then you’ve never heard of Zhou Qunfei the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire. She hails from China which is also home to the most self-made female billionaires.
Despite its communist practices, China pushes gender equality and many women have been giving great opportunities as a result.
So, you’re probably wondering what Qunfei does? Well her company, Lens Technology, makes screens for iPhones. The company went public just two years ago and now Qunfei is a multi-billionaire with a net worth of $9.2 billion.
Zhou Qunfei grew up in a small village in China. Her father was half-blind and she credits that situation as the inspiration for her attention to detail. Her mother died when Zhou was just 5 years old. She dropped out of high school at 16 to work at a watch lens company. For a dollar a day, Zhou worked to help provide for her family.
In 1993, she decided to start her own business making watch lenses with some money she had saved. She was just 22.
Then ten years later, in 1993, her fate changed. She received a call from Motorola. They were looking for a company to make scratch-resistant screens for the Motorola Razr. She agreed and her company blew up.
She began working with other electronic companies such as Nokia, HTC, and Samsung. In 2007, she received a call from Apple and they wanted her to help them create a screen for the first iPhone. Now, her company is worth $11 billion.
Currently, the Lens Technology company has more than 90,000 workers and 32 factories. But Zhou is still very involved in her company. She is the sitting CEO and she works 18-hour days at her office. She even has a built-in apartment for her to sleep and eat at work.
Now 47, Zhou joins an elite club of movers and shakers.