Some people are born with a knack for business. Others take years to learn how to start and run their own companies. No matter your background, some entrepreneurs stand out as exemplars of success. Here’s an overview of the famous entrepreneurs who have built up their companies into massive brands today:
Jeff Bezos is the founder, former CEO, and current chairman of Amazon.com
Jeff Bezos is the founder, former CEO, and current chairman of Amazon.com. This online retailer began its journey as an online bookstore in 1994 via a simple website from which customers could order books online. Today, the company offers hundreds of millions of products in over 50 categories including clothing and shoes, toys and games, electronics and appliances, tools & home improvement items, along with furniture & décor products. In addition to his role at Amazon.com Inc., Jeff Bezos also serves as the current CEO at Blue Origin LLC. Here he is focused on expanding human access to space by developing advanced propulsion technologies. These will make it possible for humanity’s first settlement on another planet (Mars) within our lifetime.
Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and currently the richest man in the world
Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and is currently in the top 10 of the richest men in the world. He was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, and studied at Harvard University where he met his future business partner, Paul Allen. The pair started Microsoft in 1975 with an initial investment of $2,000 each given to them by their mothers. At that time, software was not a lucrative business. However, by 1980 Microsoft had become incredibly successful. In November 1988 Gates left full-time employment at Microsoft to pursue philanthropy through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded alongside his wife Melinda French Gates shortly after they married in 1994. Gates has remained one of America’s most influential businessmen throughout his career despite stepping down as chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft in 2000. This was after overseeing its transformation into one of the world’s largest corporations. At its peak between 1999 and 2000, Microsoft had a market capitalization value exceeding $500 billion dollars USD. This financial boom period is known colloquially as the “dotcom bubble” burst when many startups failed due to overvaluation issues. Such issues were linked to new technology stocks reaching unsustainable levels. This high caused stock prices to crash, resulting in bankruptcy filings for many companies including Enron Corp., WorldCom Inc., Global Crossing Ltd., Adelphia Communications Corp., and Globalstar Inc.
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of the social-networking website Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of the social networking website Facebook. He is also the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook-owned Oculus VR and the founder and CEO of Facebook-owned Instagram. When he was a junior at Harvard University, Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook.com for his fellow students to use. It soon became popular among other colleges throughout the United States, spreading to over sixty countries by May 2004. After Zuckerberg dropped out of college in 2005, he moved with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan to Palo Alto, California where they rented a small house while they developed further plans for their new company. In 2008, with financial support from venture capitalists such as Peter Thiel (who cofounded PayPal), Accel Partners ($12 million), Jim Breyer ($2 million), and others who invested $500 million into their company, they were able to offer shares on Wall Street as part of an initial public offering (IPO).
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the founders of Google Inc., which launched in 1998
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the founders of Google Inc., which launched in 1998. Page and Brin met at Stanford University where they began their research on the internet. After graduation, they both worked for a few years on Stanford University’s Digital Library Project. In 1996, they founded Google, with a mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group; and was knighted for his contributions to entrepreneurship
Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group. He was knighted for his contributions to entrepreneurship. He is an English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. He started out with a student magazine called Student while attending school in London. He then began to invest in record shops, expanding business into other areas such as music retailing and mail order records. In 1984, he sold Virgin Records for £500 million ($1 billion).
Steve Jobs founded Apple computers with Steve Wozniak. He also acquired Pixar Animation Studios in 1986
Steve Jobs was a co-founder of Apple. He is considered one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time. He is also renowned for his visionary leadership, which he demonstrated by acquiring Pixar Animation Studios in 1986. Steve Jobs’ interest in technology began at an early age; he taught himself how to program computers, creating games that earned him money on the side as a teenager. In 1976, he founded Apple Computer with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Jobs left Apple in 1985 but returned in 1997 when they acquired NeXT Software Inc. Jobs served as CEO until 2000 when he became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Larry Ellison is co-founder and CEO of Oracle, an enterprise software company
Larry Ellison is also one of the wealthiest people in the world. Larry Ellison has been named one of America’s most generous philanthropists by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which tracks charitable giving across the country. He has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including medical research and education. In 2011, he founded a $100 million scholarship program for college graduates who plan to pursue careers in science, math, or engineering—a move that earned him a spot on TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list that same year.
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO at OYO Rooms, India’s Largest Hotel Network
Ritesh Agarwal is a 26-year-old founder and CEO of OYO Rooms, India’s largest hotel network. In 2013 he started OYO Rooms with an investment of $10 million. OYO Rooms is a hotel aggregator that provides online booking and payment facilities to its customers. Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian businessman with over 21 years of experience in the hospitality industry. OYO Rooms has more than 1 million rooms across 100+ cities in India. OYO plans to expand its presence globally as well by opening new branches within the Asia Pacific region. This will include Singapore and Thailand as well as Europe. Its subsidiary brand ‘OYO Signature’ will focus on luxury hotels specifically located around Britain & Ireland rather than on other countries like New Zealand or Australia. The parent company already has operations established throughout those areas, following the Brexit vote.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm, India’s biggest mobile payments company by volume!
In 2010 Vijay started Paytm with his friends, as an online marketplace for local services. In 2014, he launched Paytm Wallet, which allows users to store money and pay for goods & services via QR codes at merchant outlets across India. Since then, Paytm has grown tremendously, becoming a leading digital payment platform in India. It has over 300 million users and 50 million offline merchants across the country. The company processes more than 300 million transactions per month – that’s almost twice as much as PayPal!
Elon Musk is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs!
Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur and inventor. He is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; chairman of SolarCity; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com (later PayPal). As of June 2018, he had an estimated net worth of $20.8 billion. Musk is listed by Forbes as the 80th wealthiest person in the world. Musk attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School before graduating in 1989 from Pretoria Boys’ High School. He moved to Canada, where he spent two years at Queen’s University before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. Here he earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics. In 1995 Musk attained honors as well as a master’s degree in applied physics from Stanford University.
Mukesh Ambani is a renowned Indian billionaire business magnate, who is serving as the Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India‘s largest private sector enterprise
Mukesh Ambani is also the Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), which he founded in 2007. Forbes magazine has ranked Ambani as India’s richest person since 2012–13, with an estimated net worth of $40 billion as of September 2015. In 1982, Ambani started working for his father Dhirubhai Ambani, and in 2002 took over control of Reliance Industries Ltd after his father suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed.
Oprah Winfrey is an actress, producer, and entrepreneur who has been ranked as the richest African American woman, one of the greatest philanthropists in America, and one of the world’s most influential celebrities!
- Oprah Winfrey is an actress, producer, and entrepreneur who has been ranked as the richest African American woman, one of the greatest philanthropists in America, and one of the world’s most influential celebrities! She was born on January 29th, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi.
- As a young girl, Oprah dreamed of being a news reporter. Instead, she became involved with acting when she joined the cast of “The Color Purple”. Since then she has starred in over 30 movies including Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), Selma (2014), A Wrinkle in Time (2018) & Greenleaf (2016).
- Oprah helped create some great television shows such as the Dr. Phil Show which first aired in 2002 on CBS and continues to air today. Her other show was called “Oprah’s Lifeclass” which aired from 2011-2012 with 20 episodes total.
Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they know how to take risks and make their own luck. They have an innate ability to see opportunities where others see only problems. They’re not afraid of failure, because they know that failure is part of the journey toward success. These people have all had incredible success stories, but the most important thing about them is that they have never stopped trying!