Rosalia Mera – Co-Founder of Inditex Clothing Firm

Rosalía Mera Goyenechea was a Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur.

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Rosalía Mera Goyenechea was a Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur.

At the time of her death, she was the richest woman in Spain and the world’s richest self-made woman. Rosalia was dropped out from school at the age of 11 to work as a sales assistant at a clothing line. Her passion to design clothes led her to open her clothing line. She began designing gowns and lingerie in her home with her then-husband. The couple opened the first Zara store in 1975 in A Coruña. They made a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. After 10-years of her first clothing line, Inditex was established as a holding company for the couple’s businesses. Moreover, the company owned other retailers such as Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Uterque, and Zara Home.

Other than that, she owned interests in a company that made fingerprinting identification kits for newborns. Mera also owned another company named Zeltia, which researches cancer-fighting compounds of both synthetic and natural origin and particularly those bioactive compounds originating in the ocean. The brand prospered, and the couple opened new branches of the company, first in Spain and Portugal and then around the world. In 2013 Zara had 1,770 stores in 86 countries.

Due to her devotion to work, she was ranked on 2013’s Forbes billionaire list. Mera stood as the world’s wealthiest self-made female entrepreneur, with a net worth of over $6 billion.

However, in 2013, Mera died due to a stroke. Her daughter Sandra Ortega Mera inherited her wealth (her son Marcos was born with cerebral palsy) and became Spain’s richest woman with a net wealth of $6.1 billion.

The world remembers her due to her success and contribution to society. She is still known as one of the richest entrepreneurs and philanthropists.