Extraordinary People

‘Turn your pain into purpose,’ explains youngest female self-made billionaire

Whitney Wolfe Herd made her millions creating app Bumble

We’ve had the Spice Girls, the newly-appointed first ever female Vice President, and Whitney Wolfe Herd is making it a hat-trick for girl power.

You might never have heard of her before now, though Whitney just so happens to be the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire.

Not bad for someone aged 31.

[Credit: Whitney Wolfe Herd / Instagram]

Mish-mashing philanthropy work with pop culture, Whitney’s first venture dates back to 2009, when at the tender age of 20 she started a business selling bamboo tote bags to benefit areas affected by the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The initiative, named Help Us Project, went on to receive national press after celebrities such as Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie were photographed with the bags.

Fast-forward to 2014, and Whitney gravitated towards cyberspace to launch Bumble.

In a world saturated by dating apps, Bumble stands out from its rivals due to the unique rule whereby only female users are allowed to make the first contact with male users in heterosexual matches (for same-sex matches, either person can send a message first).

[Credit: Sincerely Media / Unsplash]

The app proved not only a success for hook-ups, but as time went on it evolved into a networking platform where people can discover career opportunities, expand their social circles, find meaningful friendships, or even become a mentor to someone.

Thanks to these triumphs, Whitney now rivals the Kardashian sisters with her bank balance.  

But that’s not to say it’s been easy. She’s had setbacks, including a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Prior to Bumble, Whitney co-founded infamous dating app Tinder, however, she left and filed a lawsuit which cited “atrocious sexual harassment and sex discrimination” as well as ongoing “threatening and abusive” behaviour from her ex-boyfriend and former boss Justin Mateen.

The case was later settled out of court, with Tinder denying any wrongdoing.

[Credit: Whitney Wolfe Herd / Instagram]

Reflecting on her rollercoaster life, Whitney took to Instagram to celebrate where she is now and encourage other people to pursue their ambitions despite any hurdles.

Writing to her 200k admirers, Whitney wrote: “To anyone going through a setback, low point, or rough patch. To anyone who feels disempowered in their relationships – or who’s had the courage to make the first move into healthier ones. Today is for you.

“This is the outcome of starting over again when it feels like the end. It’s a testament to new beginnings, new paradigms, and new norms. Today has shown that barriers can be broken when we believe in a better way.”

She continued: “Bumble is the outcome of a fiercely dedicated team who’ve worked tremendously hard to show that women can, should, and will make the first move. When relationships are better for women, they’re better for everyone.”

Whitney added: “To all the first movers, whether on our platforms, in business, or in life: you’re what today is about. Never take no for an answer, believe in yourselves, and turn your pain into purpose. Most importantly, treat people with kindness and dream big.”

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