Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

NET WORTH: $290 million, estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Singer

FUNDING AREAS: Women & Girls, Global Poverty, TBD

OVERVIEW: Beyoncé cofounded Chime for Change with actress Salma Hayek. Chime for Change describes itself as "a global campaign to raise funds and awareness for girls and women around the world." Beyoncé has also launched a philanthropic initiative called #BeyGOOD, to help the homeless, sick children, and the unemployed.

BACKGROUND: Born in 1981 in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé Knowles started singing at an early age, competing in local talent shows and winning many of these events by impressing audiences with her natural singing and dancing abilities. Teaming up with her cousin, Kelly Rowland, and two classmates, Beyoncé formed an all-female singing group. Destiny's Child soon became one of the most popular R&B acts, with the release of their first, self-titled album. Beyoncé eventually branched off as a solo artist, releasing her first album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. It sold millions of copies and won five Grammy Awards. Beyoncé has also starred in several films, including Dreamgirls, and married hip-hop mogul Jay-Z in 2008.

ISSUES:

WOMEN & GIRLS: Beyoncé cofounded Chime for Change with actress Salma Hayek. Chime for Change describes itself as "a global campaign to raise funds and awareness for girls and women around the world." She donated $500,000 to Chime for Change, with the money going to health and education programs for women and girls in developing countries, mentoring, counseling, and job training for girls in New York, and support for victims of sex trafficking in Los Angeles. She's bankrolled Embrace Innovations, cofounded by Jane Chen, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. Embrace Innovations provides low-cost infant warmers and is an easy way to help premature babies born in developing countries survive and thrive. Beyoncé's support of Embrace Innovations will allow Chen to extend its pilot program to additional countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. The money will also bring Embrace’s products into seven more countries.

Beyoncé has also launched a philanthropic initiative called #BeyGOOD, to help the homeless, sick children, and the unemployed. The effort has supported at least six European charities to help homeless and sick children. Additionally, the effort helped Saint Damien Pediatric Hospital in Haiti raise money for pediatric oncology intakes. An initial campaign in 2013 was relaunched in 2015 with the aim of further supporting the hospital.

Beyoncé created the Formation Scholars awards to support young women pursing studies in creative arts, music, literature or black studies at Berklee College of Music, Spelman College, Howard University, and Parsons School of Design. 

OTHER: In 2005, Beyoncé cofounded the Survivor Foundation, an organization she established with her mother Tina, Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Beyoncé has also focused some of her philanthropy on Texas and Houston, with support going to Houston Food Bank. As well, Tina helped launch Knowles-Temenos Place in Houston, whose  mission is to "provide affordable housing opportunities, supportive services and employment resources to low-income persons on their journey to self-sufficiency." 

LOOKING FORWARD: Beyoncé is still in her 30s, but has amassed a fortune. It's true she has her hands in a lot of different areas, but philanthropy is one of them and she should be watched for greater giving down the line.

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