Meet the World’s Best Entrepreneurs
Top Global Entrepreneurs
We’d probably all be lying if we said we didn’t have an entrepreneurial icon in mind when we set out with a business venture. Whether that be Richard Branson or the ethically questionable Mark Zuckerberg, having a business hero is good thing; it’s indirect mentoring. But just who is floating our boat these days?
In a recent list published by Investopedia, these were some of the top global entrepreneurs who current business owners aspire to follow:
John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller is considered to be the richest man in modern history and one of the greatest figures of Wall Street and – two pretty impressive accolades. It’s hardly a surprise that he stands out as the number one entrepreneur. An industrialist and philanthropist first investing in an oil refinery in Cleveland, he established Standard Oil Company in 1870 which controlled around 90% of the USA’s oil refineries. As the importance of gas and kerosene grew, so did Rockefeller’s wealth. Yet despite his company being shut down in 1911 for violating antitrust laws, he was good to the public, driving down prices for customers.
It’s said that as a kid Bill’s parents forbade him from reading because he never stopped! A keen interest in technology and a competitive nature drove him to furnish himself with an abundance of information, qualities that later lead to him founding the Microsoft Corporation – the world’s largest software company and creator of the Windows OS which is the most widely used OS globally for desktops and laptops. Gates eventually stepped down, selling and giving away much of his stake in Microsoft. He now owns 1% of shares and these days Chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation dedicated to improving global health.
During the 1920s Walt Disney was working as a skilled an animator for a US advertising company. In his spare time he was creating his own animated shorts in a studio garage. Inspired by the mice that occupied his workspace, Disney created Mickey Mouse, making him the star of 1928 short film “Steamboat Willie”. Mickey Mouse became a huge commercial success which led to the creation of a cartoon factory with teams of animators, musicians, and artists. But the buck didn’t stop there – Walt Disney capitalised on the global success of this household name by making Mickey Mouse the star of amusement parks, feature-length animations, and merchandise. Disney’s net worth is said to be nearly $130 billion.
Steve Jobs once said, ‘ I want to make a ding in the universe’ and he most certainly achieved that. He pioneered the era of the personal computer and transformed Apple Inc, which he cofounded with Steve Wozniak, into a world leader in telecommunications. This was seemingly only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Jobs’ technological potential and it’s assumed that his greatest achievements were unwritten. In 2010 Apple exceeded Microsoft’s market cap earning its position as the most valuable company in the world. Jobs passed away in 2011, sadly before he’d had chance to demonstrate the true depth of his capabilities.
There are of course many other entrepreneurial icons worthy of a mention – Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg. They are inspiring in different ways but all routes to success are all equally worthy of a read, some of them dropping out of university, breaking the mould and going against the grain in pursuit of an idea.