From rags to riches: the most famous entrepreneurs in the world

Starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding, but it isn’t easy and it isn’t quick. It requires dedication, hard work, and yes, more than a little bit of luck. That’s why we have gathered together this list of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world – to show that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard enough at it!

Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill Gates- American business magnate, philanthropist, and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation.
  2. Oprah Winfrey- American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.
  3. J.K. Rowling- British novelist, screenwriter, and producer best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series.
  4. Steve Jobs- American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc.
  5. Mark Zuckerberg- American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur best known for co-founding Facebook.
  6. Elon Musk- South African born Canadian American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor best known for his work in PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity.
  7. Ingvar Kamprad- Swedish businessman who founded IKEA which is a multinational group that sells furniture, appliances, and home goods.
  8. Richard Branson- English businessman who founded Virgin Group that includes more than 400 companies; he is an adventurer who has crossed the Atlantic Ocean both ways by boat and ballooned around the world.
  9. Gordon Moore- American chemist whose predictions about integrated circuits helped him co-found Intel Corporation with Robert Noyce which revolutionized digital electronics by making semiconductor chips affordable for mass production which made personal computers possible (Moore’s Law).

1. Elon Musk

He is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity. He is also the founder of The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company. In addition, he is a co-founder of OpenAI, a non-profit research company that promotes friendly artificial intelligence. Musk has also proposed the Hyperloop, a high-speed vactrain transportation system.

Musk was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. His father, Errol Musk, a civil engineer and electromechanical engineer, is from Canada; and his mother is of English and French Canadian descent. When Musk was one year old, he moved with his family to Canada. Musk has two siblings; a younger brother, Kimbal (born 1972), and a younger sister, Tosca (born 1974). He also has an older half-brother whom he did not know until 2013. His paternal grandmother was British (from Gloucestershire), and his maternal grandfather was American.

Related : 7 Success Strategies of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

2. Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is a British business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. Branson has an estimated net worth of US$5.02 billion as of 2020. He is one of the world’s most recognizable figures and has been described as an adventure capitalist. Branson has achieved success in a number of industries, including music, transportation, health care, leisure, and retail. He is also a notable author and outspoken advocate for a variety of social and political causes.

Branson’s Virgin brand began with music sales and grew over time to include a record label, mobile telephony, space travel, and fitness clubs. Branson is listed as No. 324 on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list as of 2019. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to entrepreneurship in 2018. His entrepreneurial efforts have been focused on supporting new ventures during their start-up phase; around 700 companies have been launched under his guidance or investment. The majority of these companies have succeeded, however some such as Virgin Cola, Virgin Vie and Virgins Galactic have failed outright.

3. Mark Zuckerberg

He is the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. In 2004, he launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room. He dropped out of college to work on Facebook full-time. As of 2019, he is the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $71.3 billion.

He created Facebook with his college roommates and fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. In 2007, Zuckerberg took Facebook public and became a billionaire at age 23. He is now married to Priscilla Chan, whom he met while studying at Harvard. In 2015, Zuckerberg and Chan launched The Primary School for disadvantaged children in California. The school’s first class will be made up of 20 students aged between six months and five years old from low-income families. When these children graduate from primary school they will be guaranteed a place at a top-performing high school or academy.

4. Bill Gates

He is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.

He has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive. Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people; as of November 2020, he was ranked as the fifth-wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$121 billion.

5. Jeff Bezos

He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 12, 1964. His mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, was a teenager at the time of his birth. His father, Ted Jorgensen, was a bike shop owner. Bezos was raised in Houston, Texas, with his younger brother Mark. He attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from fourth to sixth grade. As a child, he showed an early interest in computers and how they worked.

When he was 15, Bezos graduated from high school and enrolled at Princeton University. He spent summers working at McDonald’s. During his junior year, he worked for a company that sold computer hardware and software where he learned about operating systems. In 1988, Bezos graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. It was during his time at Princeton that he became convinced that there was an opportunity to start an Internet-based business.

6. Warren Buffet

Orphaned at a young age and starting out with very little, Warren Buffet is now one of the richest men in the world. He is known for his investing prowess and his frugal lifestyle. While he could easily afford to live a life of luxury, he instead chooses to live modestly and give away much of his fortune to philanthropic causes. He is an inspiration to many who hope to achieve great things from humble beginnings.

7. Oprah Winfrey

Born into poverty in rural Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most successful and influential women in the world. A media powerhouse, she has hosted her own hugely popular talk show for over 25 years, founded her own production company, and is now a billionaire. But Oprah’s success is about more than just money; she is also known for her philanthropy and her ability to inspire others.

8. J. K. Rowling

Joanne Rowling, better known as J.K. Rowling, is a British novelist, screenwriter, and producer who is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have sold more than 500 million copies and have been translated into over 80 languages. Rowling is the United Kingdom’s best-selling living author and was estimated to be worth £10 million in 2010. In 2012, Forbes named her the second richest female entertainer in the world with an estimated net worth of $1 billion.

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