To be an entrepreneur one has to take risk to actualize a particular idea. This entails setting up a business model around the idea in order to make money. Entrepreneurship is highly rewarding if done well. Globally, the richest persons on earth are comprised of famous entrepreneurs. These crop of billionaires have expansive businesses in technology, retail, manufacturing, apparels and real estate. For many entrepreneurs, financing in the initial stages was a challenge. To avert this, seek institutions like LenCred who offer flexible financing to get you started. Below is a snippet of famous entrepreneurs with their stories that you could emulate and get inspiration from.
Undoubtedly, the greatest entrepreneur of our time is Bill Gates. Gates, the computer programs business leader, has held the position of the world richest man for the past two decades. The wealthiest among famous entrepreneurs of our era, he was at one point considered richer than 20 of the world poorest countries combined. Bill Gates’ wealth was amassed through his PC-software-making company, Microsoft. By June 2017, he was estimated to be valued at $86 billion.
As a kid, Bill was fascinated with computer programs. He created programs using a teletype terminal computer in his school prior to going on to create Microsoft Company. This is the world’s largest computer software company. Through Microsoft, Bill has changed the way we use computers, their interface and assistive capacities. His determination from school days and the inherent passion for computers has helped him become who he is. He is a renowned philanthropist, having donated over $28 billion to non-profit organizations and Melinda & Foundation more than other famous entrepreneurs have.
Of all famous entrepreneurs, Steve’s road to the top was bumpy and tough. To many aspiring ‘techpreneurs’, his journey should reignite your fight. Steve is well known for creating the best computer of our time, Mac, and the mobile phone to beat, Apple phone. However, the recent successes were a product of a rough era in entrepreneurship spanning over 4 decades.
Steve dropped out of college because he felt he was a burden to his parents. He also felt he was studying too much stuff that was not relevant to his journey. He quit his classes and started dropping in on those he felt were important. This included calligraphy, which helped him create a typeface with superior fonts and design in his Mac OS. His typeface was soon to be adopted by other software companies like Microsoft, which were headed by famous entrepreneurs. His partnership with childhood friend Steve Wozniak led to the creation of the multi-billion dollar Apple Company. By June 2017, Apple Company was ranked the 9th largest company globally in terms of revenue. By the time of his death, Steve Jobs was valued at $8.3 billion. He left a great legacy as the Grandfather of digital revolution.
Jack is one of the richest among the famous entrepreneurs in Asia. His journey is an ordeal of resilience, fight, determination, broad-mindedness and hard work that every young entrepreneur should emulate.
Jack’s real name is Ma Yun. ‘Jack’ came from a pen pal’s nickname who found it hard to pronounce his real name. Jack loved English and even volunteered as a tour guide for nine years in hotels to polish his skills. He struggled to join college and took a one year exam for four years to gain acceptance. As if that was not enough, throw in ten unsuccessful Harvard applications. He was not lucky with employment either. He applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected. The worst scenario was when KFC needed 23 attendants for a branch that had opened in his home town. Of the 24, Jack was the only rejected applicant.
Jack began his trades in 1995 and is one of the most inspirational figures among famous entrepreneurs. This came after visiting America and experiencing internet for the first time. The void in Chinese websites and web content gave him an idea for his first company. He went back and created the Chinese Yellow Pages. This was founded on a $20,000 financing from his wife. He partnered with his American friends and created over 5 million websites. By 1998, Chinese Yellow Pages was valued at $800,000. Needless to say, Jack had no mastery in coding or web design. Around the same year, Jack gathered 18 friends to create the widely-known Alibaba. Of the 18 friends, only two understood what he intended on creating. That startup quickly rose to a multi-billion company with a vast global reach. Its entry to the NYSE clocked $25 billion, which is still the largest for any company in history.
While Jack took 4 years to replicate Amazon by 1998 in China, Jeff was already up for 4 years since 1994. Amazon CEO, Bezos, founded the e-commerce giant at his home in Seattle. At first, it served purely selling books online, which it still does. However, over time Amazon diversified into other products. This saw the company growth under Jeff’s leadership to become the largest e-commerce company globally. In 2014 alone, Amazon sold $89 billion in goods. This was made successful through its huge warehouses that dispatch and make delivery of goods globally easier.
Aliko Dangote has a vast investment portfolio under his company: Dangote Group. The famous entrepreneur is the richest African with an estimated net worth of $14 billion dollars. This accounts for up to 2.5% of Nigeria’s economy.
Dangote began his investments in 1981 with a soft loan from his uncle. He used that cash to invest in selling cement and other building materials. He diversified to car imports and later on formed the Dangote Group at 25. This multi-billion dollar conglomerate is a business leader in cement production across Africa. Dangote has cement plants in Zambia, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. Dangote group has vast investments in plastics manufacturing, steel, real estate and food. He also has investments in oil and gas. He recently reacquired the Dangote Flour Mills cheaply. This was after he had sold it to Tiger Brands, a South African company, 3 years ago.
By 2016, Michael was believed to be worth $18.9 billion. The 50-year old entrepreneur entered PC making at the right time. By the time he was starting PC Ltd, Michael was a college student at the University of Texas. After receiving an initial investment of $1,000 to create computers, he turned PC Ltd to Dell. In his first year of operation, Dell was overwhelmed by the huge PC demand. This came around that time when Microsoft was releasing its MS-DOS, which enjoyed a great reception. Guided by the increased demand, Michael dropped out of UT and fully concentrated on making PCs. The budding young entrepreneur clocked over $6 million in sales under a year in business. He sought financing to scale up and meet the rapid growth. Dell was successful again as he got a $30 million investment. By 23, ‘young entrepreneur extraordinaire’ Michael was already CEO of a Fortune 500 successful business.