Who said been born without a silver spoon is enough reason not to make gold spoons in your lifetime? This is a list of 10 ordinary people who started from the scratch and are famous today because their ideas and perseverance brought them billions, meet the world’s top 10 self-made billionaires and be inspired!
10. Wang Jianlin
Estimated net worth: $30.1 billion Wang Jianlin served in the army for 18 years before becoming involved in real estate. His great fortune makes him the richest man in China. After his time in the army, he joined Dalian Xigang Residential Development, which preceded Dalian Wanda, the state-owned property developer of which Wang is the chairman. In 2012, Dalian Wanda acquired AMC Entertainment, North America’s second-largest movie theater chain.
9. Larry Ellison
Estimated net worth: $41.5 billion Ellison went from programmer to entrepreneur in order to build his fame and fortune. He and two colleagues developed Oracle, a relational database management system used by the CIA. Ellison served as CEO until 2014 and is now the chairman and chief technology officer. He also has a massive real estate portfolio, which includes most of a Hawaiian island.
8. Michael Bloomberg
Estimated net worth: $50.8 billion The richest person in New York, Bloomberg began his career at Salomon Brothers, where he joined as a trader and later became a partner. When the company was acquired, he used his severance to cofound Bloomberg L.P. in 1981. The company was designed to make market information accessible in real-time. Bloomberg served as the mayor of New York for three consecutive terms, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for US presidency.
7. Ingvar Kamprad
Estimated net worth: $58.7 billion At 17, Kamprad founded Swedish furniture company IKEA with some money his father gave him as a reward for an academic achievement. IKEA is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, which combines his name, the name of his family’s farm, and the nearest village. Kamprad currently serves as an informal senior advisor to the board of the IKEA Group, which is now an international furniture retailer.
6. Amancio Ortega
Estimated net worth: $66.2 billionIn 1975, Ortega cofounded Zara, a designer clothing store based on a reasonable price model. His company, Inditex, is the largest fashion group on earth. Ortega managed to avoid the financial crisis in Spain, growing his wealth by $45 billion from 2009 to 2014 with the growth of the company.
5. Carlos Slim Helú
Estimated net worth: $69.7 billion Slim studied engineering at the National Autonomous University (UNAM) in Mexico before going on to found companies that have interest in the financial, industrial, telecommunications, and media sectors, among others. Today, he controls more than 200 companies in Mexico and is one of the largest stockholders of The New York Times.
4. Mark Zuckerberg
Estimated net worth: $73.3 billion Zuckerberg started Facebook during his sophomore year at Harvard University, after which he moved to California with his co-founders in order to nurture the company’s growth. In 2006 he rejected an offer from Yahoo to acquire the company for $1 billion, which was a smart move considering that in 2012, Facebook’s IPO raised $16 billion.
3. Warren Buffett
Estimated net worth: $87 billionBuffett displayed financial prowess at a young age and purchased his first stock investment at 11 years old. By 13 he had his own small business delivering newspapers. Now chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, his company has the highest-priced stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, with Class A shares trading at over $200,000 each.
2. Bill Gates
Estimated net worth: $91.3 billionGates started programming computers when he was only 13 years old. He founded Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975 after dropping out of Harvard. Along with many of his fellow billionaires, Gates has pledged to give away at least half of his wealth to charity after his death. In the mid-2000s, he transitioned most of his work towards the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports numerous philanthropic causes worldwide.
1. Jeff Bezos
Estimated net worth: $112 billionBezos wrote Amazon’s original business plan in the passenger seat while his wife drove the couple and their dog from the East Coast to Seattle, where he planned to found the company. After Amazon took off, Bezos founded the human spaceflight company Blue Origins in 2000. Bezos personally owns 18% of Amazon’s shares, and the company is now disrupting the TV and film industry.