10 Famous Entrepreneurs Who Didn't Need a University Degree

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By Matt Gubba

over 6 years ago

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Did you know that there are quite literally thousands of highly successful entrepreneurs around the world who have achieved riches and fame without the need to get a university degree? Well we have listed some of our favourites below. Some of the names may well surprise you!

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Sir Richard Branson

Best known for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies, Branson started out in business at the age of 16 and never looked back. With a net worth now estimated in the Billions, we can safely say that Sir Richard Branson has done pretty well for himself without the need for a degree
.

Sir Philip Green

British Retail billionaire Philip Green started his first business after leaving school at the age of 15. Green is now best known for his role as CEO of Arcadia Group, which owns well known high street chains such as Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge Outfit and Wallis. All of this without any kind of further education.

John Caudwell

UK Billionaire tycoon John Caudwell left school without completing his A-Levels to become an apprentice at Michelin, followed by sweeping the floors at a pottery factory. But after launching his mobile phone distribution business in 1987, the Caudwell Group soon became valued in the Billions. John’s hobbies now include owning and operation a variety of vehicles. In April 2010 he purchased at auction the 67m luxury Superyacht Apoise for around $46 million dollars.

Duncan Bannatyne

Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, famous for his role on BBC television series Dragons’ Den left school at the age of 15 to join the Royal Navy. After serving a few years he was dishonourably discharged for throwing an officer overboard in Scotland, and as a result spent several months in jail. Bannatyne’s business empire all started with an ice cream truck that he purchased for £450. Fast forward to the present day, and his wealth is now estimated at around £430 million.

Alan Sugar

Lord Sugar as he is now known came from humble beginnings in the east end of London. Famous for his TV series, The Apprentice, Sugar began his business empire selling electrical equipment out of the back of an old van after leaving school at 16. Sugar now has an estimated fortune of £770 million.

Simon Dolan

At the age of 16, British Businessman Simon Dolan was told to leave school by his headmaster. After working in a variety a of sales jobs including selling cheese and eggs on a market stall, Dolan became self-employed, doing the accounts of small local business people. He now owns the UK’s largest accountancy firm to be owned by an individual. His net worth is estimated at £100 million.

Thomas Edison

After being mainly home schooled Edison gave up on education at the age of 12. But that didn’t stop him from inventing many of the devices that have shaped the modern world, including the light-bulb, the phonograph, and the video camera. Thomas Edison is now remembered as one of the most famous inventors in history and is learned about in schools all over the world.

Simon Cowell

Better known for his role as a judge on television programmes such as the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Cowell is another big name that left school without any sort of higher education. His company Syco Entertainment now has more than 30 offices in London and LA, and manages a string of high profile television and music brands. His fortune is estimated at around £200 million.

Steve Jobs

Apple founder Steve Jobs gave university a try, but left after just one term. After starting Apple Computers in his garage, jobs went on to create what would in later years become the most valuable company in the world with a market value that hit $418 Billion dollars in early 2012. Before his death in 2011, his personal fortune was estimated at around $7 Billion.

Bill Gates

Another giant name in the business world, who just like Steve Jobs, tried university but then decided to leave when realising that starting a company (Microsoft) was a far better opportunity. This most definitely proved to be the correct decision. Microsoft is now arguably one of the most powerful companies in the entire world, and Gates has a personal fortune of $61 Billion. That makes his the second richest man on the planet.

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