The entrepreneurial spirit in Britain began since time immemorial. Most Britons, therefore, gained financial freedom through starting their own businesses. A certain class of individuals with quite humble backgrounds walked down the road of entrepreneurship. They moved from rags to riches. These high net worth individuals are ranked as below, in order of their net worth, listed in ascending order.
10. Peter Jones
Sir Peter Jones has a net worth of £291 million. He is a famous and quite popular business tycoon in London. Sir Jones built his fortune from his numerous business investments and being a star of BBC2 TV series Dragons Den. His interests in TV, mobile phones, travel and leisure and real estate enabled him to network and grow his net worth.
9. Simon Cowell
The famous American Idol and TV series X-factor host has an estimated net worth of £317 million is also a successful music executive and TV producer. Cowell began his entrepreneurial journey at an early age when was working in the mail room of EMI Publishing, where his father was the executive officer. He soon formed his own record label and Music Company in London. He is the current owner of a new record label called Syco and SycoTv, earning him a whopping £75 million each year.
8. Duncan Bannatyne
Sir Bannatyne has an estimated net worth of £511 million. His is a classic tale of rags to riches. He started his first business selling ice-cream from a second-hand van with just £730. Then he moved to motels and home nursing industry and consequently developed 30 other such ventures across the UK, which he eventually sold for £33million.
Bannatyne took £28.5million from the gross and ventured into the fitness industry. Other business risks he took, included buying an 80 % stake in the popular Just Learning Child franchise, which again he sold for a profit of £28.5 million. Sir Bannatyne currently owns a chain of 40 spas and over 60 health clubs, hotels, and bars. He is also a philanthropist, as he founded the Bannatyne Charitable Trust which supports over 25 other charitable foundations in the UK.
7. J. K Rowling
Famous for her popular Harry Potter novel series and blockbuster movie counterparts, Rowling is the first author in history to have an estimated net worth of £600 million.
6. Alan Sugar
Previously known as Lord Sugar now Baron Sugar has an estimated net worth of £0.9 billion. His first venture was the consumer electronics industry with the extremely popular and reasonably priced personal computer called the Amstrad, short for, Alan Michael Sugar Trading. He later sold the business to BSkyB for £148 million in July 2007. Baron Sugar presently owns a digital signage company, property investment and an executive aviation company. He also got quite popular from his role in the famous TV show, 'The Apprentice.
5. Laurence Graff
Sir Graff is one of the most famous UK entrepreneurs who founded the legendary Graff Diamonds jewellery business. His estimated net worth is £3.4 billion. The company is involved in everything from sourcing and mining the raw material, to cutting, polishing and also marketing the finished product. He is the number one diamond seller in Britain.
4. James Dyson
James Dyson is an engineer by profession and also an investor with a net worth of £3.7 billion. Dyson developed his fortune through his innovative vacuum designs which include the Dual Cyclone and the Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner. He is also credited with the famous blade-less fan and HEPA - filtered hand dryers among other tech savvy inventions.
3. Richard Branson
Sir Branson, a London native, is the CEO and founder of the Virgin Group. The conglomerate of companies include, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Airways and also Virgin Megastores. His estimated net worth is £ 3.6 billion. Branson is also known for his exuberant and eccentric personality and philanthropy as he has donated hundreds of millions of pounds to various charitable foundations.
2. Philip Green
The CEO of Arcadia Group, which is a conglomeration of various popular retail companies which includes the British Home Stores, Topshop, and Dorothy Perkins. His entrepreneurial journey began when he was only 15 years old, where he began importing shoes and selling them. Consequently, due to his experience in the international trade arena, he was well equipped for his later ventures which included importing jeans. He successfully worked with London retailers to move his products. Eventually, Green began buying clothing and retail chain stores, earning him a fortune.
1. David and Simon Reuben
The famous Reuben Brothers are rated the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the UK with an estimated net worth of £4.38 billion. The self-made multi-billionaires ventured into diversified industries. Despite the fact that they started life in abject poverty, the tables turned when they moved to London in the 1950s. David started by dealing in scrap metal, while Simon, bought out England’s oldest carpet company. The brothers managed to leverage their earnings and invested in property and metals such as aluminium, copper, etc. The brothers are also quite private and elusive about their wealth to the extent of not attending some galas they host.
Most of the entrepreneurs above were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths, rather, their success is mainly attributed to sheer determination and hard work, not luck. Just like most, access to adequate capital proved to be a challenge for these successful personalities. However, most started their businesses through loans. Sir Philip Green, for instance, set up his venture with a loan of £20,000. These men and women were not special in any way; they were just bold and courageous enough to take the risk.
The risk of entrepreneurship, following their passion regardless of the obstacles they encountered. Self-discipline in money matters also enabled Duncan Bannatyne to buy a second-hand van. Others not mentioned, like Sir Charles Dunstone, with estimated net worth of £1.49 billion, began by selling mobile phones from his flat. The bottom line is, starting at whatever point you are, optimising the opportunities around you, could make the difference between being poor or a billionaire. Never give up, even at a low level of success, because even the cub is a lion.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur? Do these stories inspire you to take the first step? Let us know in the comments section below…