business

Top 5 Self Made Billionaires and How They Made It

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Billionaire life

Most people believe that a large percentage of billionaires or millionaires inherited their wealth. However, according to Forbes, only 30 percent of billionaires inherited their wealth. 70 percent of them are self-made. The list below shows top 6 self-made billionaires who made it through business.

Sir Philip Green (3.8 Billion Dollars)

His first business with a Ksh2.5 Million ($25,000) loan backed by his family at age 21, importing jeans from the far east to sell on to London retailers. In 1979, Green bought up the entire stock of ten designer label clothes sellers, who had gone into receivership, for extremely low prices. He then had the newly bought clothes sent to the dry cleaners, got them put on hangers, wrapped them in polythene to make them look new, and then bought a place to sell them to the public.

“He learned the way to make big bucks was essentially to do what’s known in the trade as a ‘leveraged buy-out’.

“He borrowed very large sums of money, invested a little bit himself, and bought up companies that were relatively cheap, because they weren’t doing very well. He turned them around, paying-off his debt, and then tripling – quadrupling – the money he put in, in a matter of a couple of years.” In no time he became a billionaire.

Mark Ashley (3.75 Billion Dollars)

At age 18, Ashley opened his first sport and ski shop in Maidenhead (a town in England) followed by others in and around London, starting with Ksh1 million ($10,000) loan from his family.

The chain expanded quickly funded by private money, and by the late 1990s had rebranded the chain Sports Soccer and opened over 100 stores across the United Kingdom. As a sole trader and not having to file accounts at Companies House, little was known about him. The business became a limited liability company in 1999.

Richard Branson (3.6 Billion Dollars)

At age 22, Richard Branson founded Virgin Records where he started to record songs for emerging musicians. One of his customers was Mike Oldfield whose record “Tubular Bells” went on to sell over 5 million copies. This helped Mr. Branson make a name for himself and he made some good cash. Capitalizing on his newfound reputation, he founded Virgin Atlantic airlines at age 34 and Virgin Mobile at age 39.

In 1992, the self-made billionaire sold his record company and channeled all his efforts to the growth of Virgin Atlantic airways. The sale of this and other companies helped contribute to the market maker’s fortune. Among the companies he sold are Virgin Media, Virgin Radio and the gay nightclub Heaven, of which he was part-owner.

Related: 7 Lessons Every Small Business Owner Can Learn From Richard Branson

Sir Charles Dunstone Estimated fortune (1.49 Billion Dollars)

He’d heard about mobile phones, but knew little about them. He researched, and approached one manufacturer to buy one. The price was Ksh200,000 ($2000). He asked if they would do a deal on two – and they said Ksh150,000 ($1500). He said that he’d take two, they said only if he became a dealer, he asked what that entailed, they said he had to buy a carton of 26.

It took him nine months to sell them. By the time he sold Caudwell Group in 2006, the business was selling 26 phones a minute. It employed 10,000 people in the UK and abroad – though primarily in the UK, and with a headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent. It was turning over Ksh250 billion ($2.5 Billion).

Lord Ashcroft Estimated fortune (1.6 Billion Dollars)

After completing his education, Ashcroft became the manager of a rock and roll band. He later got employed as a management trainee at a company known as Carreras Tobacco. He left in 1969 and got another job as an accounts assistant in a cleaning company known as Pritchard Group.

In 1972 at age 26, he started his own business, Michael A. Ashcroft Associates using his savings. He worked to turn the company around, selling it just three years later for Ksh 150 million ($1.5 million). At 71 years of age, the billionaire has pledged to donate half of his wealth to charities.

Final Word

From the above list, it is evident that for one to be a billionaire, he must be an entrepreneur. None of the above persons became a billionaire through employment. All of them were courageous people who believed in starting their own businesses and working hard on them. So, start this day believing that you can do anything you want to do, have anything you wish to have, and the rest will follow. Work hard and be a risk-taker. The world favors the bold.

About The Author

Wechuli Isaac is an independed blogger who is versed with global matters as well as current affairs. He can be reached on wechuli(dot)bishop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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About Wechuli Isaac

About Wechuli Isaac

Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.