South America is one of the most resource rich regions in the world. This has led to huge opportunities for wealth creation for men and women alike. With its colonial past, many South American women have come by their wealth through inheritance but a few are also self-made billionaires. Here is a list of the 10 richest women in South America.
Dulce built her fortunes from scratch with her husband, fellow billionaire Edson de Godoy Bueno. Together they founded Amil Participacoes in the 70’s and grew it into a major health insurance company. Dulce has a doctorate in management and served as both a dean and an assistant professor at Unversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Her net worth stands at $2 Billion.
The last of Dirce Navarro de Camargo’s daughters, Regina is also the least wealthy. She inherited billions of dollars after her mothers death from her stake in Camargo Correa and her husband has control of Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical supply store chain. Her net worth is $2.4 Billion.
Born into wealth, Eliodoro Matte Ossa founded Empresas CMPC in 1920 and since then it had grown to become Chile’s largest paper manufacturer. His daughter Patricia, and her two siblings inherited this and stakes in other industries from him after his death in 2000. She is trained in sociology and puts this to use in the policy analysis agency, Instituto Libertad y Desarrollo. Her net worth is $2.6 Billion.
For decades Dirce Navarro de Camargo was Brazil’s richest woman and only a select few were privy to the extent of her wealth. Following her death in 2013 her stake in the family construction business Grupo Camargo Correa passed to her daughters of which Rossana is the oldest. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she actively participates in policymaking for the company. Her net worth stands at $2.8 Billion.
Another daughter of Dirce and Sebastiao Camargo, Renata and her two sisters have the largest stake in their parent’s company, Grupo Camargo Correa. She is actively involved in Communitas, a charity that gives back to the poor as well as the Institute of Entrepreneurial Citizenship which engages business people in social causes. She has a net worth of $2.8 Billion.
A Chilean national, Falabella’s considerable wealth comes from SACI Falabella, the conglomerate her great grandfather founded in the late 1880’s. It remains a family run business controlled by the Solaris and Falabellas and currently spans four countries throughout South America in which it is a major employer. Falabella and family currently have a net worth of $3 Billion.
The majority of this Brazilian heiress’s fortune comes from Grupo Votorantim which her father founded in Sao Paulo almost a century ago. With help from her late husband she grew the company into one of the biggest multinational conglomerates in the region. It remains a family business and deals in industries from cement to paper. Scripilliti’s net worth is estimated at $3.3 Billion.
One of the richest women in Mexico, most of Aramburuzabala’s wealth comes from her stake in the brewery her grandfather founded when he migrated to Mexico from Spain. Some of it is also from Tresalia, a private equity company she co-founded in 1995. Her net worth stands at $5.2 Billion.
Born in Mexico, Rivera’s fortune was left to her and her children by her late husband Eugenio. He had been the chair of FEMSA, the region’s largest beverage manufacturer. Her net worth combined with that of her children totals approximately $6.6 Billion.
Iris Fontbona of Chile gained the majority of her wealth from her Croatian late husband, Andronico Luksic. He was founder and chairman of the family packaging business, Quinenco, which also has stakes in several Chilean businesses including banks and copper mines. Iris Fontbona and family have a combined net worth of $17.4 Billion.