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8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing

Some people are born with a silver spoon, but for most of us, the road to becoming rich and famous is full of obstacles and challenges. The notions that only ‘the rich become richer’, have distracted us as we eventually give up on our goal and end up following the crowd.

However, not all businessmen were born into the riches. The success stories of ordinary people who, with their will power changed the way we live today are the clear examples of how money isn’t the only asset that one needs to move forward. With proper dedication and determination, anyone can achieve heights and overcome their obstacles.

So, if you need some inspiration, just take note of the lives of these famous entrepreneurs and get started.

Jan Koum- Whatsapp Founder

Koum was born in a small town in Ukraine. His father worked as a labourer and his earning could barely serve the family. His home was often without hot water. Koum then shifted with his mom to California at the age of 16, where he swept the floor at a grocery store to earn a living. In his meantime, he would study computers.

By the age of 18, he became an expert hacker. Then he got a job in Yahoo and in 2009 he purchased his first iPhone to build WhatsApp, which turned out to be the most loved and widely used application today. Recently Facebook bought the application for $19 billion.

Net Worth– $10 billion

Quote- “Do One Thing, And Do It Well”

Roman Abramovich- Chelsea Football Club Owner

8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing
8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing

Abramovich’s childhood didn’t help him get the luxurious life he has right now. He was born into poverty in southern Russia and became an orphan at the age of 2. He was raised by his grandmother and uncle and went to Moscow Auto Transport Institute in 1987. His business career when he got an expensive gift from his in-laws which he sold for capital. After which he started a small plastic company and then he found an oil business and got famous in the oil industry.

Later, he completes a merger and made his company the fourth biggest oil company in the world. The company was sold for $13 billion to Gazprom. In 2003, he acquired the Chelsea football club and also owns the world’s largest yacht.

Net Worth– $8.2 billion

Inspirational Quote- “I Never Aspired To Be A Public Figure. I Have Always Been Interested Primarily In Real Business And The Development Of Business Strategies.”

Oprah Winfrey- Media Tycoon

The global icon that we know today who is a writer, talk-show host, campaigner, and golden globe winner had a different childhood. Winfrey was born in poverty in Mississippi. She spent most of her childhood living with her grandmother who was so poor that she could only afford to give her clothes made of a potato sack. However, Winfrey didn’t let this decide her future.

She got her scholarship to Tennessee State University and then went on to win a beauty pageant (where she was discovered by the Radio). At the age of 19, she became the first African-American TV correspondent. And by 2000, Forbes had named her the richest African American of the 20th century.

Net Worth– $3billion

Inspirational Quote- “Turn Your Wounds Into Wisdom”

Dhirubhai Ambani- The Genius Behind Reliance

8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing
8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing

He was born in Chorwad (a town in Gujarat). His father was a teacher. After completing his education, Dhirubhai went to Yemen where he worked as a gas-station assistant and a clerk in an oil company.

In 1958, he returned to India with INR 50,000 to set up a textile industry and eventually created the reliance company. Reliance went up to become the first Indian company to feature in the Forbes 500 list. Dhirubhai was named the entrepreneur of the 20th century by FICCI.

His company is now being handled by his sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani.

Net Worth– $79 billion

Inspirational Quote- “You Don’t Require An Invitation To Make Profits”

Ralph Lauren- The Fashion Icon

Ralph Lauren was born in New York to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. He was youngest of the four siblings. He attended a day school and did his graduation from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1957.

In his early years, he worked in the United States Army. He also worked as a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers. In 1967, he started the Ralph Lauren Corporation with mens’ ties. In 1968, he launched a full line of menswear named Polo. Then later in 1971, the corporation launched tailored shirts for women with the logo of polo on it.

Although being a son of a house painter, Ralph didn’t ever give up on hope and determination. This is why now he owns such a big corporation and is known worldwide.

Net Worth: $6.3 billion

Sophia Amoruso: the nasty fashion influencer

8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing
8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing

Sophia Amoruso is an American business-woman born in California on April 20, 1984. As an adolescent, she faced Depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . This is why she started homeschooling. She attended a community college in San Francisco. She did work at a subway restaurant, bookstore and a record shop as a teenager.

She used to ID the students at the Academy of art university. This helped her earn money to buy herself health insurance. While working as a security guard in here, she opened her own online eBay store popularly known as Nasty Gal Vintage. Later, the eBay store banned her, which led her to start her own Nasty Gal retail website. And now this fashion chain is leading in women’s’ fashion wear. And now she is an inspiration to numerous fashion followers and entrepreneurs.

Net worth : $ 5 million

Richard Branson: spreading empier to various fields

Richard was born in London to a family where the father was a barrister and his mother was a ballet dancer. He did his prep school from  Scaitcliffe School. Until 16, he attended Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. He was really poor at academics. He considered himself to be an idiot. Even his teachers said that he would either end up in a prison or become a millionaire.

He started his business career by selling Christmas trees at first. He failed at it. In 1966, he launched a magazine named Student. This magazine wasn’t a great success at first but later on, it became popular. He also started a recorded service at the Oxford library. Then he launched another record label named Virgin record. He also stepped in a packaged holiday industry and airline business. This was a huge success for him. And now he is the first person to plan about starting tourism to space.

Net worth: $450 crores

Luke Holden- the game-changer in the field of seafood

8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing
8 Entrepreneurs Who Emerged From Nothing

Luke Holden is the founder of Luke’s Lobster. It is a seafood chain known worldwide due to its high ratings. Luke Holden had his childhood among the lobsters. He was from a family where his grandfather and father, both were lobsters’ dealer. He spent his childhood on boats and witnessing the entire seafood processing.

He did his graduation from Georgeton University in 2007 from finance. Later, he headed towards Wall Street with an entirely new idea for his future in his head. He did a job in there and suddenly remembered the good days he used to live while binging on lobsters. Due to the unavailability of good quality seafood near his area, he decided to start his own chain of seafood. He quit his job when he could successfully start his second outlet in New York with his co-partner, Ben Conniff. And now he has a big name in the entire Seafood market.


These are some of the few highly successful personalities who started with just a dream.  For all of you dreaming out there, remember no idea is small. In 1966, Richard Branson started with the simple idea of a magazine that would be interesting for kids to study, and that set him on his path to business success.

You don’t need a require bundles of capital to start a business. You might need to take up small loans from the bank. Start small and see what you can achieve even with the low budget. Heavy loans and money borrowing can lead to more pressure.

And remember your background won’t define your future. You are your own master. The lack of wealth has been a motivator for many people. Use your disadvantage as your asset and start developing solutions for it. Don’t let failures set you back, instead learn from them and use them to fuel you in your entrepreneur journey.

Kavya Gupta
Kavya Gupta
Electronics and Communication engineering student with a peculiar love for writing. I find writing is extremely gratifying and lively work. Creativity and originality are two prime ideologies that I look forward to.


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