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The 32 Most Famous Entrepreneurs of All Time

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Ever wondered who the most famous entrepreneurs are?

That’s what you’ll learn today. 

We’ll go over the TOP 32 entrepreneurs together.

And you’ll discover what you can learn from them too.

Ready to get inspired?

Then let’s dive right in!

Top 32 successful and famous entrepreneurs in the world

You might be wondering: 

What truly sets the most successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest? 

Before we go over the most famous entrepreneurs, I want to share some important advice with you.

Starting your own success story doesn’t require a billion-dollar idea.

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Often, the best place to start is a business model that lets you sell your existing skills, like coaching or consulting.

These businesses offer both flexibility and profitability. Plus, they’re easy to set up too.

Take it from me — I built an eight-figure business with just that approach.

Want to know how I did it?

Then check out our coaching business guide for more insights.

Now, let’s dive into the stories of the top 32 successful and famous entrepreneurs in the world.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is worth nearly $130 billion.

But it took him some time to get there…

His computer journey began early; he co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975.

At the time, Gates was just 20.

The duo bet big on software for a new microcomputer most people hadn’t even heard of.

Seeing potential, Gates dropped out of Harvard and went all-in on Microsoft.

And by 1976, its revenue hit $16,005.

Now, Gates faced his share of tough times – legal battles, competition missteps, you name it.

But instead of throwing in the towel, he saw each hiccup as a learning curve.

As an entrepreneur, this ability to bounce back and learn from each fall is priceless.

Or as Gates once put it:

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Another thing we can learn from Gates?

Start working on your business ASAP.

Gates founded Microsoft at an early age.

While you don’t have to be in your 20s to start, the message is clear:

The best time to begin is now.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the second richest person in the world and an all-round entrepreneur who (co-)founded and runs several companies:

  • PayPal
  • SpaceX
  • Tesla
  • The Boring Company
  • X (Twitter)

What sets Musk apart is his massive impact across different sectors.

Musk is known for taking risks.

For instance, what would you do if you had $200 million from selling a company? Most of us would think we’re settled in life, right?

Well, Musk went a different road…

Instead of sitting back and relaxing, he re-invested what he made with Paypal into three different projects:

  • SpaceX
  • Tesla
  • Solar City

Why?

Because he saw a future others didn’t.

And it paid off.

You see:

Taking calculated risks as an entrepreneur helps you stand out.

It’s the difference between creating your own opportunities versus waiting for them.

If something is worth pursuing, DO IT instead of thinking endlessly about possible failures.

Or in Musk’s words:

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

Figure out what your “important enough” is — and then go for it.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon, the largest eCommerce marketplace.

His company has made him the third richest man on earth.

What’s his current net worth?

Nearly $200 billion.

Not bad for a small online book store he once started in his garage…

Here’s how Bezos made it happen:

Amazon kicked off in 1994. Within a month, it wasn’t just selling books across the US but also in 45 other countries.

But Bezos didn’t stop there…

He started adding more items like CDs, videos, clothes, electronics, toys, and so on. 

What’s the big lesson?

Start with one thing. Nail it, then expand.

Bezos shows it’s okay to start small, as long as you’re thinking big.

And about taking risks? Bezos says it best:

“If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunities on the table.”

Translation:

Not everything will be a win, but not trying guarantees you’ll stay right where you are.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey runs a multimedia empire that’s worth $2.8 billion.

She started as a media mogul, but her business know-how led her to expand beyond her show.

Yet to this day, millions of people still enjoy “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

But why do they keep watching?

The answer lies in the connection and trust Oprah has built with her audience.

Her audience knows exactly what they can expect from her:

Authenticity and empathy.

Over the years, Oprah founded many companies. But each venture was an extension of her personal brand.

This is something she really mastered.

Here’s why branding is so important for your business. It:

  • Makes you stand out
  • Highlights your strengths
  • Draws in your ideal clients
  • Builds trust

Trust is crucial here.

If people don’t trust your brand, they won’t want to engage with it.

To build your brand, start by identifying what makes you unique.

What do you bring to the table that nobody else does?

Once you’ve figured that out, own it, share it, and let it drive your business forward.

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is known as the ex-wife of Bill Gates.

But she’s so much more. 

Starting at Microsoft in 1987, she quickly climbed the ranks. Eventually, she became the general manager of information products.

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Melinda and Bill got married in 1994. When their first child was born two years later, she left Microsoft to focus on their family and charity work.

Over the years, the couple set up many different charities. But in 2000, they combined them as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The foundation focuses on healthcare and education. And it aims to give a fair shot for women and girls everywhere.

Melinda once said: 

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction.”

This highlights Melinda’s belief in giving back.

It’s her way of saying, “Don’t simply bask in your success. Pass it on.”

After all, success isn’t just about what you achieve — it’s also about what you set in motion for others.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is often called the “Oracle of Omaha.”

He got started in finance very young:

He bought his first stock at age 11 and filed his first taxes at 13.

Today, he’s a legend in the world of investing – something his net worth of $138 billion proves.

Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, is a massive conglomerate that owns businesses like: 

  • Geico
  • Duracell
  • Dairy Queen

But Buffett isn’t just about owning companies; he’s about smart, long-term investing.

He:

  • Buys to hold forever
  • Focuses on quality instead of market fluctuations
  • Understands that time magnifies the success of good decisions​​

Buffet is famous for saying:

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

This strategy worked out for him, especially during tough times like the 2008 financial crisis.

While everyone else was panicking, he invested in solid companies at bargain prices. 

The big lesson from Buffett?

Focus on the future, not just immediate profits and short-term gains.

Start small, understand your market, and then grow your business based on solid knowledge.

Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins headshot
Melanie Perkins – Source

Melanie Perkins is a co-founder of Canva — a game-changer in graphic design.

Perkins was born in Perth, Australia. And her business started with a simple observation during her time at university:

Design tools were really hard to use for the average person.

Perkins wanted to change that.

So, she set out to make designing stuff easy for everyone. But first, she had to find investors…

She got her first big break at a conference in Perth where she met Silicon Valley investor Bill Tai.

With this financial backing, Perkins co-founded Canva with her boyfriend Cliff Obrecht and ex-Googler Cameron Adams in 2013.

What sets Canva apart is its simplicity combined with its usefulness.

It lets people everywhere feel like they can be designers too, even if they’re not pros.

And because there was such a high demand for this service, word of mouth drove a ton of growth. 

In their first year alone, they had more than 750,000 users.

And nowadays, the platform has over 170 million active users.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook (now called Meta) from his college dorm in 2004.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the biggest social network globally, with over 3 billion people using it every month.

Plus, Meta owns Instagram and WhatsApp too.

Sitting at a net worth of $170 billion, Zuckerberg ranks as the world’s fourth richest person. 

But here’s the thing — his true impact extends far beyond his bank account. 

Zuckerberg has completely changed how we connect, share, and even do business online.

What drove Zuckerberg’s success?

A willingness to take risks.

He once said:

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

What does this mean for you?

It’s simple: Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Have an idea? 

Then dive in, and take that chance.

The world’s moving fast, and to succeed you often have to step out of your comfort zone.

Staying safe won’t help you catch up. 

So, test your idea out and learn as you go.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is a trailblazer in the corporate world.

Originally from India, she holds an MBA from Yale.

Forbes estimates Nooyi’s net worth to be around $350 million.

How did she make her fortune?

A large part comes from her transformative leadership as the CEO of PepsiCo.

Nooyi wasn’t just any CEO, though. She completely reshaped the brand’s identity and focused on making a positive impact.

Under her leadership from 2006 to 2018, PepsiCo saw a big shift toward:

  • Healthier products
  • Sustainability
  • Responsible corporate practices

Nooyi guided the company beyond profit. She wanted purpose too.

And by doing so, she redefined Pepsico’s success.

Nooyi once said:

“If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you.”

Transforming our business often starts with transforming ourselves.

True leadership is about leading by example.

And by embracing self-improvement, we set the stage for collective success

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd turned her vision of a safer online dating space for women into a billion-dollar brand.

After getting her degree in international studies, Wolfe Herd got a job for a tiny company called Cardify.

Cardify let users swipe through retail loyalty cards. A few employees, including Wolfe Herd,applied this concept to dating and started Tinder.However, after facing harassment and a difficult breakup with another co-founder, she left Tinder and sued for sexual harassment.

These experiences drove her to focus on women’s safety and control in dating.

And that’s how Bumble was born.

The dating app is designed so women have to send the first message. And unlike Tinder, Bumble expanded beyond dating. It includes features for making friends and professional networking.

While Wolfe Herde stepped down as Bumble’s CEO in 2024, she remains as its executive chair.

Her story shows that tough situations shouldn’t hold us back.

Instead, they can be opportunities to make something that shows what we stand for.

Sergey Brin

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin (aka Sergey Brin) is a key figure in tech.

In 1996, he partnered up with Larry Page to launch Google Incorporated.

At the time, Brin and Page were both Stanford students.

But once they got $100,000 in financial aid from investor Andy Bechtolsheim, they were ready for the next step.

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So, they laid the groundwork for what would become the world’s most powerful search engine.

Google started as a simple web crawler.

​​Fast forward to 1999, and with investors knocking, they got a $25 million investment.

By 2001, they were making $100 million in profit. And they nearly grew this number tenfold by 2003.

But Brin and Page didn’t stop there…

Wanting to push the boundaries of tech innovation, they created Alphabet in 2015.

By shifting smaller companies under Google to Alphabet, they made Google’s scope narrower.

While Alphabet as a parent company became a technology conglomerate.

It currently has a market cap of almost $2 trillion, ranking as the world’s 5th most valuable company.

Larry Page

Lawrence Edward Page (aka Larry Page) is a highly successful tech entrepreneur.

Born to computer science professors, he was practically made for the tech world. And at Stanford, when he met Brin, the gears started turning.

Together, they created something the world didn’t even know it needed.

But Page knew that just having a cool invention wasn’t enough.

You’ve also got to tell people about it…

Google got to the top because of two big reasons:

  • It gave people exactly what they were looking for (by offering the best possible results)
  • ‘Google it” became everyone’s go-to phrase for finding anything online

Their invention was:

  • Visible
  • Easily accessible
  • Useful

This transformed Google from a small project in a Stanford dorm to a gigantic tech empire.

Want to stand out with your project or business?

Then get out there and show it to the world.

Give your brand a voice, and let it attract those who resonate with your offer.

Rihanna

Rihanna is a global superstar.

Born in Barbados, she moved from a small island to the worldwide stage at the age of sixteen.

She’s famous for her hit songs, but that’s not what made her the richest female musician in the world…

Rihanna always refused to be boxed into one category. And her empire spans multiple industries:

  • Music
  • Cosmetics (Fenty Beauty)
  • Fashion (Savage X Fenty)

Rihanna ventured into businesses where she saw gaps. For instance, she created her make-up brand Fenty Beauty to include everyone, no matter their skin color.

She once said:

“I’m not looking to be Miley Cyrus. I don’t want to be in movies. Right now, I just want to make music that’s relevant and that people enjoy.”

In other words:

Rihanna focuses on what she excels at without getting sidetracked by what everyone else is doing.

This entrepreneurial mindset is POWERFUL.

It’s a lesson in staying true to what you love while also not being afraid to try new areas when the time is right.

Sam Walton

Sam Walton’s family
Sam Walton’s children, source

As the inventor of Walmart, Sam Walton transformed retail.

Walton was born in 1918 in Oklahoma.

After running a successful chain of stores with his brother, he wanted to set up some discount stores in small towns.

His bosses rejected his idea. But instead of giving up, Walton went ahead and started his own chain: Walmart.

At the time, big discount stores usually opened in big cities. But Walton believed small towns could also generate enough profit.

He turned out to be right.

Walmart became huge under Walton. And by 1990, it had evolved from a single store to the world’s largest retailer.

Walton’s strategy was simple yet revolutionary:

Keep prices low to keep customers happy and coming back.

He famously said:

“There is only one boss. The customer.”

This customer-centric business model is the key to long-lasting success.

Do your market research to understand what your customers need and want.

Then, use what you learn to offer better services, better products, or whatever it is that will make your customers choose you over anyone else.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles began her career in Houston, Texas.

She started as part of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling girl groups.

She then soared as a solo artist, becoming a music industry powerhouse.

Like other pop stars on this list, Beyoncé’s impact goes beyond music.

She made her acting debut in 2001 and has starred in several movies.

Plus, she has founded multiple businesses too. Her business empire includes:

  • Entertainment (Parkwood Entertainment)
  • Fashion (Ivy Park)
  • Hair care (Cécred)

No matter if she’s singing, acting, dancing, or business, Beyoncé’s confidence shines through in everything she does.

She once said:

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

What’s the takeaway for your own life or business?

Simple: Invest in yourself.

Whether it’s learning new skills, branching into new ventures, or following your passions, you have to bet on yourself.

Trust yourself and invest in your growth.

Larry Ellison

Lawrence (Larry) Joseph Ellison is the co-founder of Oracle Corporation.

He’s currently listed as the fifth richest person in the world, with a net worth of over $155 billion.

But Ellison’s journey to success was anything but straightforward…

Born to a single teenage mom, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle.

Without finishing college, Ellison worked on computer code for years.

His big break came from an idea about organizing data better, inspired by an IBM paper.

In 1977, he co-founded Software Development Laboratories with just $2,000. This company would later be called Oracle.

Ellison was great at spotting opportunities and expanding by buying other companies.

That’s how Oracle quickly became the top name for database software.

Despite some tough times, the company hit it big with the release of Oracle 7 in 1992, making Ellison a billionaire.

In 2014, Ellison stepped back, but he stayed as Oracle’s executive chairman and tech chief. 

He once said:

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.”

Translation:

Believe in your vision, even when others doubt it.

That’s how you make a difference.

Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki is well-known in health and science because of her company, 23andMe.

She launched the company with her friend Linda Avey in 2006.

They wanted to use genetic testing to help people understand their health better. This includes knowing one’s risks for certain diseases.

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By sending in just a bit of saliva, anyone could learn about their DNA.

But not everyone was on board with the idea…

Critics worried about privacy and the accuracy of tests.

Nonetheless, 23andMe soon became a key player in the personalized health industry.

By 2016, they had genotyped more than one million people worldwide. And when the company went public in 2021, it was valued at $6 billion.

However, since then its valuation has crashed…

23andMe faced two big problems:

  • A security breach that affected 6.9 million users
  • Trouble retaining customers after they use the DNA kit once

This shows how important it is to both protect customers’ information AND think of ways to keep them coming back.

Wojcicki is now focusing on finding ways to make 23andMe profitable.

Michael Dell

​​Michael Dell is the brain behind Dell Technologies.

Dell started early. He made $2,000 selling stamps at twelve and $18,000 from newspaper subscriptions at sixteen.

At nineteen, he was earning $80,000 a month by upgrading personal computers from his college dorm room.

Dropping out of med school that same year, he founded Dell Technologies with just $1,000.

And at twenty-seven, he was the youngest CEO ever to lead a Fortune 500 company…

What set him apart?

Dell revolutionized PC sales by:

  • Selling directly to customers
  • Cutting costs
  • Enhancing service

Today, it’s a MAJOR tech company that offers many different IT solutions.

Dell’s philosophy is simple:

“If you’re happy, that’s probably the most important thing. Everyone has their own definition of success, for me it’s happiness. Do I enjoy what I’m doing? Do I enjoy the people I’m with? Do I enjoy my life?”

Real success isn’t just about how much money you’re making.

It’s about enjoying what you do and who you spend your time with.

Tory Burch

Tory Burch is a highly successful fashion designer and businesswoman

She got her first job by cold-calling fashion designer Zoran Ladicorbic. And she then went on to work for Harper’s Bazaar, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Loewe.

After having gathered years of experience, she decided to launch her own store — against a lot of people’s advice.

She created an immersive brand experience right from the start. And her bold move paid off.

By the end of its opening day, the store had almost completely sold out.

Looking back at this moment, Burch once said:

​​“I’m an information gatherer, I like hearing what people feel and think, but at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself and go with your instinct and gut.”

Tory Burch has grown into a global billion-dollar brand. And it’s still celebrated for its unique style.

Besides running her fashion empire, Burch also set up the Tory Burch Foundation.

The goal?

To empower women and female entrepreneurs by offering access to:

  • Capital
  • Education
  • Digital resources

Jack Ma

Jack Ma is a Chinese entrepreneur who’s best known as the co-founder of Alibaba Group.

While most wouldn’t guess it now, Ma faced many job rejections early on.

After college, he couldn’t land any of the 30 jobs he applied for in his hometown.

He was the only one not hired at KFC out of 24 applicants. And he also failed to become a cop.

That all changed thanks to a trip to the USA in 1996.

During his visit, Ma discovered the internet. He saw a great opportunity. So, he founded the first commercial website in China called ‘China Pages’.

China Pages was successful. And in 1999, Ma founded Alibaba together with 17 others.

It soon became China’s top e-commerce company…

Can you guess Ma’s worth now?

Over 24 billion dollars.

Now, what can you learn from his story?

See failure as a learning opportunity. Don’t give up when someone rejects your idea.

Instead, focus on your vision. And look at your long-term goals.

Or to put it in Ma’s words:

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

Martha Stewart

Martha Helen Stewart is a famous businesswoman and TV star

She turned her love for home and cooking into a big business.

She started as a stockbroker but realized her real passion lay elsewhere…

Instead of selling stocks, Stewart wanted to make homes look beautiful and cook delicious meals.

So, that’s what she did.

As the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., she has had enormous success in multiple business ventures.

A big moment in Stewart’s life was in 2004. That’s when she went to prison for five months.

The reason?

She had lied to an investigator about a stock sale.

While some thought this would be the end of her career, Stewart proved them wrong.

Completely.

She came back even stronger and more successful. And in 2005, she published a bestseller about her experience.

Stewart once said:

“If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day.”

As an entrepreneur, continuous learning is key to success.

You have to stay curious and always be open to learning new things.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is a name everyone knows.

After dropping out of college, a 21-year-old Jobs co-founded Apple.

While the company was successful not everything was smooth…

In 1985, Jobs was forced out of the company because of internal conflicts.

Not one to stand still, Jobs then founded NeXT computers.

One decade later, his efforts came full circle when Apple bought NeXT. This brought Jobs back as interim CEO, and by 2000, he was leading Apple as its permanent CEO.

Jobs believed in “putting a dent in the universe.” With that, he meant changing the world in any way — even if just a little.

That also includes putting a dent in his own life when needed…

In his words:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:

‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’

And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is well-known in the blogging world.

Originally born in Greece, she later moved to the U.S.

In the early ’90s, she helped her ex-husband, Michael Huffington, run for the Senate. 

He didn’t win, but this got her started in politics.

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She later co-founded the Huffington Post with Ken Lerer, Andrew Breitbart, and Jonah Peretti.

The Huffington Post was meant to be an alternative news website.

The site quickly became a go-to source for news on:

  • Politics
  • Business
  • Lifestyle
  • The environment
  • Entertainment

In 2000, they expanded, creating local versions in cities like Chicago, New York, Denver, and Los Angeles.

And 11 years later, AOL bought the Huffington Post.

The price?

$315 million.

Over the years, Huffington faced a lot of criticism, especially about the Huffington Post’s content and how it didn’t pay some of its writers. 

To this, she once said:

“One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism.”

Howard Schultz

Everyone knows Starbucks, but not so many know Howard Schultz.

While he didn’t start the coffee company, he’s a big reason why it’s doing so well today.

Schultz joined Starbucks as head of its marketing and retail operations in 1982.

During a vacation in Italy, Schultz noticed Italy’s vibrant coffee culture.

His goal?

Bringing Italy’s “coffeehouse culture” to the United States and packaging it for mass consumption.

When his idea wasn’t accepted, he started his own espresso bar, Il Giornale.

It was a hit.

But Schultz wanted more…

In a twist of fate, when the original Starbucks owners decided to sell, Schultz seized the opportunity.

Next, he completely transformed Starbucks.

He:

  • Added exotic coffee drinks
  • Made stores cozy
  • Trained employees to better serve customers

This strategic focus pushed Starbucks from 425 stores in 1994 to over 2,200 by 1998.

Today, Starbucks is one of the world’s most recognized businesses.

Starbucks was Schultz’s passion project. That passion definitely helped him along the way.

In his words:

“If you don’t love what you’re doing with unbridled passion and enthusiasm, you’re not going to succeed when you hit obstacles.”

Cher Wang

Cher Mi Wang is a Taiwanese tech visionary who co-founded HTC.

Wang’s father was a renowned entrepreneur. So, growing up, business talk was just dinner table conversation for her.

Wang later moved to California to earn a degree in economics. After college, she worked in the tech industry before starting HTC in 1997.

On one of her many business trips, Wang realized how handy it would be to have a small device instead of a big computer.

A Microsoft acquaintance suggested making a handheld device. And that’s when HTC became a behind-the-scenes manufacturer making devices for other brands.In 2011, Wang and her husband ranked No. 1 among Taiwan’s richest. At the time, they had amassed $8.8 billion.

However, their fortune dropped in the following years, and it reached its lowest point in 2016.

That said, Wang is still worth a whopping $850 million.

Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur.

He made history in 2012 by becoming the world’s second-youngest self-made billionaire.

At the time, he had just turned 25.

Here’s how he made that happen:

Coming from a small Indian town, Agarwal dropped out of college with a bold dream.

What was that dream?

To change the game in budget hotels.

Agarwal’s big break came when he joined the Thiel Fellowship.

This program gave him:

  • $100,000 
  • Mentorship
  • Advice from big names in tech, like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Elon Musk.

Starting OYO in 2013, Agarwal focused on improving and expanding budget hotels worldwide.

Now, OYO is not only India’s largest hospitality company but also available all over the world.

Agarwal once said:

“Start small, nail it, and then make it big.”

This is an approach that most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

They know that big achievements start with small steps.

Nail those before moving on to the next task.

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner is known for her business smarts.

With a net worth of $680 million, she’s the second richest Kardashian. (Her sister Kim Kardashian has a net worth of $1.7 billion.)

Kylie’s initial fame came from the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

But she carved her own path in the business world.

With $250,000 from modeling, she kicked off her beauty company in 2015: Kylie Lip Kit.

It quickly became famous for its signature lip kits. It was later rebranded as Kylie Cosmetics.

12% of US cosmetics and makeup users use Kylie Cosmetics. 

But what makes her brand so popular?

Her fame and large social media following play an important role. But so do smart business strategies.

Think of powerful influencer marketing and sharing behind-the-scenes looks. This builds trust and makes her followers feel included in the process.

Besides her cosmetics company, Kylie also:

  • Runs Kylie Skin
  • Works as a brand ambassador
  • Promotes brands on her instagram account

This approach of diversifying income is a very smart move.

Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest business tycoon.

His net worth?

$116 billion.

Ambani is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries.

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While he didn’t found the company, he helped turn it into what it is today:

The largest retailer in India.

How did it all start?

Mukesh is one of Dhirubhai Ambani’s four kids. His dad began with humble beginnings as a gas station worker in Aden, Yemen. But as things got tense in Aden, the family moved to Bombay.

They settled in a chawl — a type of cheap housing found in western India.

To make ends meet, Dhirubhai Ambani and a cousin founded Reliance Industries.

At the time, it was a small textile manufacturer. But that would soon change…

In 1981, Mukesh stepped into the family business.

Under his watch, Reliance didn’t just grow — it exploded into various sectors:

  • Petrochemicals
  • Energy
  • Textiles
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications

Besides his business ventures, Ambani is also a big sports fan. He owns the Mumbai Indians cricket team, and he even founded the Indian Super League for football.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson is a famous British entrepreneur.

Besides his wild and lavish lifestyle, he’s best known for the Virgin Group.

Virgin is a conglomerate of hundreds of different companies.

What not everyone knows, though, is that it all started with a cheap record store

Branson founded Virgin Records with Nik Powell.

From there, Branson’s ambition took off.

He opened a recording studio and launched a record label. Soon, he was setting up shops across the UK.

Over the years, many well-known performers helped make Virgin a huge success. Some examples are:

  • The Rolling Stones
  • Janet Jackson
  • Sex Pistols
  • Paula Abdul

But Branson didn’t stop at music…

He ventured into airlines with Virgin Atlantic and kept expanding

What sets Branson apart is not just his wealth or businesses — it’s his approach to entrepreneurship.

He once said, 

“Entrepreneurship is not about winning over customers, working on your own, or making a lot of money. It’s about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful executives.

Currently, only 15% of senior management jobs in big Silicon Valley companies go to women. And it’s well known that the tech industry (still) isn’t very diverse…

But Sandberg managed to climb to the top.

Today, she has a net worth of $2.2 billion.And she has worked in key posts at:

  • Apple
  • Alphabet (Google)
  • Yahoo!
  • Meta (Facebook)

After nearly two decades of working for Meta, Sandberg stepped down in 2024. However, she will continue to work for Meta as an adviser.

Sandberg’s influence goes beyond just leading tech companies, though.

She’s on a mission to help other women reach success.

Her 2013 book “Lean In” was an instant bestseller. It’s packed with her life lessons, tips, and powerful quotes like:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

“Done is better than perfect.”

The book sparked a movement, and Sandberg created the organization Lean In.

Lean In is a growing community aimed at breaking down gender barriers.

In Sandberg’s Lean In Circles, ambitious women gather in small circles to:

  • Network
  • Discuss struggles
  • Build skills
  • Offer support

Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the mind behind the shapewear brand Spanx.

She has a net worth of $1.3 billion.

But how did it all start?

Blakely was once a door-to-door fax machine salesperson.

She came up with her billion-dollar idea from the pantyhose she wore for work. While they made her body feel firmer, they were very unfashionable.

Blakely knew she could create something better.

With just $5,000 from her sales job, she launched Spanx.

What set her undergarments apart is that they combined comfort with style.

This filled a huge gap in the market.

After Oprah named Spanx one of her “Favorite Things,” the brand’s success skyrocketed.

It earned $4 million in its first year alone.

And in 2021, Spanx’s value soared to $1.2 billion thanks to a deal with Blackstone.

Blakely’s mantra?

“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things differently from everybody else.”

See the unknown as an opportunity instead of a roadblock.

Judy Faulkner

Judith (Judy) Faulkner is a powerhouse in the healthcare technology sector.

Through her company, Epic Systems, she has amassed a fortune of $7.4 billion.

Epic Systems is a leading medical record software provider.

It develops software solutions for hospitals, clinics, and specialty practices. The company also holds the medical records of over 250 million patients.

And it’s used by top medical centers, like Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic.

How did Faulkner make this happen?

Epic Systems grew slowly. It added a few clients each year and always made its software better.

In the beginning, it made billing software. Then, in the ’90s, it started using graphics to make its software easier for clinics to use.

That expansion never stopped.

And while the company’s product is generally called an ‘electronic health record’, its reach is far broader, including:

  • Revenue cycle management
  • Customer retention tools
  • Data analytics

Impressively, Epic has grown this big without venture capital or buying other companies. All its software is made in-house by its own team too.

Not bad for a company Faulkner once started in her Wisconsin basement…

OK, we’ve covered the 32 most famous entrepreneurs!

But, who is the real number one?

Let’s explore that next…

Who is the world’s no.1 entrepreneur?

Who’s the top entrepreneur in the world?

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Well, it’s not easy to pick just one.

It really depends on what you’re looking at.

What does success mean for you?

Is it:

  • Money
  • Impact
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Happy clients
  • Freedom
  • Something else?

To me, success is living a life of FREEDOM. Being able to spend time with loved ones, and organizing your day the way you want to.

But it’s different for everyone.

What we do know, though, is that Bernard Arnault of LVMH is the richest entrepreneur in the world with a net worth of $233 billion. 

Elon Musk is the richest entrepreneur in the US. 

As of February 29, 2024, he has $215 billion to his name.

Next steps

There you have it!

You now know who the most successful and famous entrepreneurs are — and what you can learn from them.

I hope these stories leave you feeling inspired.

While you don’t need a groundbreaking idea to make it BIG, you can set yourself up for success by picking the right business model and applying the best strategies.

I should know – that’s how I build my own eight-figure business. 

Want to learn more? 

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Read more:

Overcome Your Fear of Starting a Business

Finally Go From Employee to Entrepreneur

These Limiting Beliefs are Holding You Back as an Entrepreneur

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

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