20 Influential Entrepreneurs and How They Built Their Empire
23rd February, 2021
20 Influential Entrepreneurs and How They Built Their Empire fortune.com
Ever wondered how the biggest entrepreneurs got to where they are? They say nothing worth having is easy, and these icons prove that hard work does pay. When we read about all the successful entrepreneurs and millionaires in the world, we can’t help but wonder what their journey was like. We often look up to these people and find inspiration to pursue our dreams and ambitions. Since no journey is smooth and accounts for tremendous hard work, everyone has their own story to tell. So, here are how 20 of the richest entrepreneurs in the world built their empire.
Daniel Gilbert – $33.4 billion www.mlive.com
Daniel Gilbert – $33.4 billion

Born and brought up in the state of Michigan, Dan Gilbert is an American businessman and investor. He studied law at Wayne State University Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. While in college, Gilbert also earned a real estate agent’s license. Eventually, with his brother Gary Gilbert, he founded Rock Financial, which would later become Quicken Loans.

Michael Dell – $43.4 billion www.crn.com.au
Michael Dell – $43.4 billion

Michael Saul Dell is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the largest technology infrastructure companies. Michael Dell was interested in this field of business from a young age and invested in stocks and precious metals. He also promptly disassembled the first computer he ever got, which was an Apple II. He was initially studying pre-med, but he dropped out at 19 to start his business.

Francois Pinault – $43.6 billion www.businessinsider.in
Francois Pinault – $43.6 billion

Francois Pinault grew up in a rural French town called Les Champs-Géraux. He first worked for his father’s timber business and dropped out of school. He soon joined the military during the Algerian War. Upon returning, he founded a wood-trading company, which grew immensely over the years. In 1992, he launched a holding company called Artémis to manage the Pinault family’s investments.

Carlos Slim Helú – $51.9 billion www.forbes.com
Carlos Slim Helú – $51.9 billion

Known as a successful business magnate from Mexico, Carlos Slim Helú started learning about business quite early in his life. At the age of 11, he had already invested in a government savings bond, and at 15, he was a shareholder in Mexico’s largest bank. While studying civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, he began teaching Algebra and Linear Programming, too.

Jack Ma – $54.5 billion economictimes.indiatimes.com
Jack Ma – $54.5 billion

Jack Ma is a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who is widely known as the co-founder and former executive of the Alibaba Group. Ma graduated from Hangzhou Normal University in 1988. After being rejected from over 30 jobs, he started his first company, Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency, in 1994 and found success. He is currently the third wealthiest person in China.

Michael Bloomberg – $54.9 billion www.businessinsider.in
Michael Bloomberg – $54.9 billion

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University and earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, Michael Bloomberg started working as a general partner in Salomon Brothers, a financial service company. In 1981, he formed his company called Bloomberg L.P, which would make customized computer terminals. These would deliver real-time market data, financial calculations, and other analytics to Wall Street firms.

Amancio Ortega – $67 billion ww.fashionnetwork.com
Amancio Ortega – $67 billion

Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish businessman and founder of the Inditex fashion group. He had to leave school at an early age to help his father out. He then began working as a shop assistant for a local shirtmaker called Gala, where he learned to make clothes by hand. In 1972, he started his own business, where he sold quilted bathrobes.

Colin Huang or Huang Zheng – $69.1 billion www.forbes.com
Colin Huang or Huang Zheng – $69.1 billion

Colin Huang, or Huang Zheng, is the founder and chairman of an e-commerce company known as Pinduoduo. After graduating with a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Huang worked as an intern for influential companies, such as Google and Microsoft. In 2007, he started an e-commerce site called Ouku, which was sold in 2010 for $2.2 million. In 2015, he founded Pinduoduo, also known as PDD.

Ma Huateng – $72.8 billion www.forbes.com
Ma Huateng – $72.8 billion

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, is the chairperson of Tencent Holdings and is the second richest man in China. Tencent Holdings was co-founded by Ma Huateng and four of his classmates in 1998 and has since been successful in making internet-related services. WeChat, China’s biggest instant messaging service, was developed by Tencent Holdings, and it currently has more than 1 billion users on its interface.

Larry Ellison – $78.3 billion www.wsj.com
Larry Ellison – $78.3 billion

Co-founder, Executive chairman, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Ellison had a very rough childhood. He enrolled and dropped out of several institutions, like the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the University of Chicago. He learned how to code by simply picking up a book; no one taught him how to.

Steve Ballmer – $86.8 billion www.quora.com
Steve Ballmer – $86.8 billion

Steve Ballmer is famously known for having replaced Bill Gates as the CEO of Microsoft in 2000. He dropped out of Stanford’s MBA program after being offered a job at Microsoft by Gates in 1980. Ballmer has seen the company go through some challenging times in its early days. After a brief tenure in Microsoft, he eventually retired in 2014 and subsequently stepped down from the company’s board of directors.

Warren Buffett – $91.8 billion www.nbcnews.com
Warren Buffett – $91.8 billion

Warren Buffett is an American business tycoon, investor, and philanthropist. He had developed a keen interest in business and investing when he was young. He attended the University of Pennsylvania but later transferred to the University of Nebraska and got his business degree. He proceeded to be a part of several businesses over the years and eventually acquired a firm called Berkshire Hathaway.

Sergey Brin – $93.2 billion www.livemint.com
Sergey Brin – $93.2 billion

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is one of the co-founders of Google and is known as the former president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. He graduated with a degree from the University of Maryland in Computer Science and Mathematics at the age of 19. He later went to Stanford on a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. There, he met his friend and business partner, Larry Page.

Zhong Shanshan – $94.6 billion www.independent.co.uk
Zhong Shanshan – $94.6 billion

Zhong Shanshan, the chairperson of a Chinese bottled water company, Nongfu Spring, is the richest man in Asia. After dropping out of elementary school during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Shanshan had to struggle through life doing odd jobs as a construction worker, newspaper reporter, and beverage sales agent. In 1996, he founded Nongfu Spring, which soon became China’s top beverage company.

Larry Page – $96.4 billion www.ft.com
Larry Page – $96.4 billion

Larry Page has some sort of legacy in the field of computer science. He was born to parents who were computer scientists and taught the subject at Michigan State University. He is one of the co-founders of Google alongside Sergey Brin. Page went to the University of Michigan to study Computer Engineering and Computer Science, where he successfully created an inkjet printer made of Lego bricks.

Mark Zuckerberg – $99.4 billion caribbeanbusinessreport.com
Mark Zuckerberg – $99.4 billion

Yet another name known by almost everyone in the world, Mark Zuckerberg is the mogul of the world of social networking technology and the co-founder of the social media conglomerate Facebook, Inc. He learned basic programming in his early teens after his father taught him Atari BASIC Programming in the 1990s. He then spent the rest of his teenage years building computer software and games.

Bernard Arnault – $117 billion www.businessoffashion.com
Bernard Arnault – $117 billion

Bernard Arnault is a French businessman in the field of fashion and is the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, which commonly goes by LVMH. He graduated from École Polytechnique of France and later started working for his father’s company. In 1984, he acquired Financière Agache with some help from Antoine Bernheim and later acquired LVMH.

Bill Gates – $136 billion www.theverge.com
Bill Gates – $136 billion

William Henry Gates III, commonly known as Bill Gates, is an American businessman, software developer, investor, philanthropist, and co-founder of the tech giant Microsoft Corporation. His interest in computer programming began when he was 13 years old. He wrote his first software program when he was a student at Lakeside prep school and proceeded to form the Lakeside Programmers Club with his three schoolmates.

Jeff Bezos – $192.6 billion www.theguardian.com
Jeff Bezos – $192.6 billion

Jeff Bezos studied computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton and made his way to the crazy world of Wall Street right out of college. Soon, he became a senior vice president at D.E. Shaw in 1990. Four years later, Bezos quit his job at D.E. Shaw and started the biggest online retail business we all call Amazon.

Elon Musk – $200 billion time.com
Elon Musk – $200 billion

This is one name everyone is familiar with. Elon Musk is a well-known engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He had made some smart moves in the early years of his career, leading him to be a millionaire in his 20s. In 2002, he aimed even higher and became the founder of a private rocket company called SpaceX. He is also the founder of an electric car company, Tesla.