Denver, CO

The Denver entrepreneur who made this year's Richest Self-Made Women list

Ash Jurberg

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Recently Forbes released their annual Top 100 list of the richest self-made women. The list consists of the 100 most successful women entrepreneurs and executives in the United States.

To make the list in 2021, a net worth of $225 million was required, which was a big jump from the $150 million net worth needed last year.

There are many famous names on the list, but today I thought we would take a quick look at the one woman who lives in Denver who made this year's list.

The richest self-made woman in Denver

With a net worth of $500 million, which places her at 61 on this prestigious self-made list is Rachel Carlson. It's even more impressive when you consider Rachel is just 33 years old.

Rachel is the daughter of a former Colorado State Senator and a granddaughter of former Colorado Governor Roy Romer. Both men were passionate about and invested in education, so it's no surprise that Rachel has also taken a keen interest in education.

Rachel completed her MBA as well as an MA in Education at Stanford University. During her MBA program, she created an app to help community college students find jobs. After graduating, she worked for American Honors, an organization that coaches community college students.

Meanwhile, she was researching why graduation rates were so low with a former Stanford University classmate Brittany Stich. After two years of research, in 2015, Rachel co-founded Guild Education with Stich to bridge the gap between education and employment for 88 million American adults in need of upskilling for future work.

Amazingly, Rachel was just 27 at the time.

Guild works with the nation’s largest employers — including Walmart, The Walt Disney Company, and Chipotle, to offer strategic education and upskilling to their employees.

Its headquarters is in Denver, something which Rachel is proud of.

"As a Colorado native, I knew that the talent pool in Denver was equal, if not better, than comparable cities. I also knew Denver’s entrepreneurial spirit and knew it was a place where a budding business could thrive. We did consider some other cities initially, including Portland, OR and Austin, TX, but the talent pool in Denver and the ability to attract new talent to Denver became obvious pretty early in our search. We are fortunate that Denver is a city where people can have all the benefits of coastal cities - great jobs, the outdoors, amazing people - minus headaches like crippling traffic, lack of high quality childcare and schools, and a high cost of living. " Rachel Carlson

Guild Education is now valued at $3.7 billion and has been recognized by the Denver Post as one of Denver's Top Workplaces.

Last year Rachel co-founded Stop the Spread, a response for businesses to assist with the pandemic following an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

Hopefully, you find her story as inspiring as I have.

Readers, have any of you met or worked for Rachel? As always, if you have any comments, please do leave them in the section below.

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