The United Kingdom (UK) has been ranked the fourth most entrepreneurial nation in the world and the first most entrepreneurial nation in Europe, as reported by Telegraph. The UK has improved its entrepreneurial ecosystem a lot in recent years.
Rise in the entrepreneurship is because of inspiration from high profile UK entrepreneurs as well as the government policies. It will not be surprising if more and more startups continue to grow many years into the future. There are pretty big names when it comes to talking about the most successful UK entrepreneurs. Let’s get to know about them one by one.
Phillip Green is a billionaire UK entrepreneur associated with several controversies. But let’s not talk about those controversies here. Feel free to Google about them. We will talk about his entrepreneurial career only.
He is the CEO of Arcadia Group, a conglomeration of top retail companies like Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorthy Perkins, Outfit, Wallis, Evans, and Topman. British Home Stores (BHS) was also a part of this group of companies.
Green took the training in international trade which served him well. He quit his high school at the age of 15 and began importing shoes. Since then he has never looked back. He began buying many clothing based retail stores. This earned him a multi-billion fortune.
The interesting thing about him is that he became a Knight Bachelor in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honors for his services to the retail industry. He is also known for his charitable work and other such activities. He took the initiative of the Kahn Charitable Trust for, ‘putting lost smiles back on the faces of less privileged persons across the globe.’
Any list of the UK entrepreneurs is incomplete without a mention of Richard Branson. Initially, he was miserably failed in growing and selling Christmas trees and budgerigars. Then he moved on to start a magazine named Student in 1966. And it was wildly successful. Branson then started his record business. And guess what, he was successful in selling a record of records. He was also involved in selling export stock records. But the case was not brought to the court as he agreed to repay any unpaid tax.
Richard Branson started his record company named Virgin Records with Nik Powell. Surprisingly, the name ‘Virgin’ was suggested by his early employees. Virgin Records became the world’s largest independent record label. This is all because of Branson’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Today, he is the CEO of the Virgin Group, a conglomerate of companies like Virgin Mobile, Virgin Air, Virgin Galactic, and a whopping 400 other companies. He was also knighted for his services to entrepreneurship in the UK. He is a very popular and prominent global figure because of his adventures, fun, and humanitarian work.
David and Simon Reuben
David and Simon Reuben, having the net worth of 16 billion USD, are on the list of the wealthiest UK entrepreneurs. Surprisingly both brothers are self-made billionaires from several industries. They are particularly inspirational because of their success stories.
They were born in India to a Jewish-Iraqi family. They were raised in poverty. They moved to London in 1950 with entrepreneurial ambitions in their hearts.
David started in the scrap metal trading business. Simon worked hard in the carpet industry for years and ultimately bought out England’s oldest carpet company. Reuben brothers are very private about their life and wealth. They are known for skipping the parties and dinners they host.
Denise Coates, awarded a CBE, is one of the most successful UK entrepreneurs. She did not just join her family business of bookmaking but embraced it. She took her family business to the next level and opened a chain of bookmaking shops. And then she delved into the world of gambling online. She failed to raise enough capital for it initially.
She took a high risk of remortgaging her family business and raised the money to launch bet365.com. And guess what, Bet365 was rocketed and earns almost 35 billion pounds a year. She has a personal net worth of 4.5 billion USD. She has also been generous and donated almost 100 million pounds to various charities in the UK and abroad.
He is the founder of Graff Diamonds, having a personal net worth of 5.5 billion USD as of April 2019. He involves in every phase of his jewelry business – from sourcing and mining the raw material to cutting, polishing and marketing the final product. He is the wealthiest diamond UK entrepreneur.
He was born into a Jewish family in 1938. He left school at the age of 15 and joined Schindler, a jeweler, who repair rings and create small jewelry items in a small shop. That shop went bankrupt. And Graff began selling his jewelry designs to other jewelers all over England. Soon, he had several jewelry shops of his own.
In 1960, he founded Graff Diamonds Company. After 6 years of his company’s launch, he entered into the De Beers Diamond International Awards with the design of Robert Thomas. And they won the competition. He, then, equipped himself to sell diamond jewelry to rich guys of the Middle East. He managed to supply jewels to Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei. Once upon a time on a fine day, Prince Turki II bin Abdulaziz Al Saud walked into his shop and bought everything including a 14-carat diamond.
He went on to expand his company in Asia, Africa, the Middle, and the US. He was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2013 for his services to the jewelry industry.
We have listed only five but there are many other UK entrepreneurs with distinctive achievements. James Dyson, for example, is the wealthiest engineer in the UK. He is a phenomenal engineer with innovative creations such as the Dual Cyclone and Dyson Ball vacuum cleaners. Alan Sugar also called the Lord Sugar made his fortune in the electronics industry. And who does not know JK Rowling who has a net worth of over a billion USD? With always improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK, entrepreneurs are growing a lot, especially recently. Let us know who your favorite entrepreneur in the UK is.