5 entrepreneurs we admire


The UK may be emerging from a recession. But the spirit of entrepreneurism remains undiminished with the cream of our home-grown businesspeople as successful and famous as ever.

Many of them are household names worth fortunes and, like all great tycoons, they are not resting on their laurels.

Here we name the five entrepreneurs we most admire:

Sir Richard Branson:

The 63-year-old self-made billionaire, with an estimated 5 billion dollars (£2.9 billion) to his name, is the world’s 297th richest person, according to Forbes.

His Virgin Group is a conglomerate including Virgin Mobile, Virgin Megastores and Virgin Airways.

He also owns Necker Island, a resort in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.

Branson is a renowned philanthropist, donating vast fortunes to charity.

By 2043, his Virgin Galactic plans to launch tourist flights to our moon, on which Virgin hopes to be the world’s first firm to build a hotel.

This month (April) his architectural arm announced it plans a range of new green buildings, including a plane-shaped structure in London.

James Dyson:

The 66-year-old Cromer-born visionary, worth a calculated 4.5 billion dollars (£2.6 billion), is the world’s 328th richest person, according to Forbes.

The industrial designer, inventor and founder of the Dyson vacuum empire cleaned up in the carpet cleaning industry with his Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner.

This revolutionary machine did away with the need for bags and works on the cyclonic separation principle.

He is reportedly by far the UK’s wealthiest engineer.

This month Dyson announced a concept barge aimed at vacuuming polluted rivers.

His “Recyclone” barge would suck up plastic besides other waterway debris.

Lord Sugar:

The 67-year-old Londoner, with an estimated £860 million to his name, was ranked 98th in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List of the UK’s top 1,000 wealthiest residents.

One of the UK’s first computer business magnates with Amstrad, he has since become a TV celebrity on The Apprentice and even a political advisor.

The outspoken millionaire said that entrepreneurism is an instinctive thing that cannot be learnt, bought or bottled.

Peter Jones:

The 48-year-old Berkshire-born entrepreneur is worth an estimated £475 million, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

Jones spreads his investments far and wide, with money in television, media, property and leisure.

But it was in PCs and mobile phones that he really came to prominence as a businessman.

He has appeared on Dragons’ Den since it started in 2005.

Jones advises in his book Tycoon that would-be tycoons should not launch a business unless they totally believe in it.

Deborah Meaden:

The 55-year-old Somerset-born businesswoman is worth an estimated £40 million.

She came to prominence after running multi-million pound holiday business Weststar Holidays.

Meaden joined the Dragons’ Den TV programme in 2006.

She says that learning never stops for real tycoons.

Meaden is currently investing in ideas as diverse as solar power to dog treats.

She is backing a campaign to encourage local businesses to get a Dot London suffix on their email address.


Posted by the Secret Businessman