One of the most famous Entrepreneurs in the world Sir Richard Branson is a self-made wait for it folks.. Billionaire.
As the founder and chairman of Virgin Group that comprises of more than 400 companies, he's currently the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom.
His success is noted all over the world, listed on the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, Richard Branson has an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.
Coming from a middle-class family, he was born in Blackheath, South London and started his first business venture at the age of 16 with a magazine called Student. In 1972, Richard opened a chain of record stores, called Virgin Records, which we know now as Virgin Megastores.
The Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984
In 1993, Branson took what many saw as being one of his riskier business exploits by entering into the railway business and initially called it Virgin Trains he then won the franchises from the former Intercity West Coast and Cross-Country sectors of British Rail and then acquired European short-haul airline Euro Belgian Airlines in 1996 and renamed it Virgin Express.
Tapping into Telecommunication, Richard launched Virgin Mobile in 1999, and Virgin Blue in Australia (now named Virgin Australia). By 2000, Richard Branson was 9th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, worth just over £3 billion.
Branson wrote in his autobiography "Losing my virginity" (excellnt use of play on words if we may say so... lol) of the decision to start an airline:
"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them...from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it."
In 2006, he really pushed the aviation business when Virgin Atlantic Airline merged with SN Brussels Airlines and formed Brussels Airlines. Then tapped into the african market, and started a national airline based in Nigeria, called Virgin Nigeria. With a presence in America, Virgin America, began flying out of San Francisco International Airport in August 2007.
Till date his empire keeps on growing adding venture such as Virgin Broadband, and creating innovative strategies to keep the brand relevant
Richard Branson is a world example of an successful Entrepreneur, he once said in an interview when asked about being an entrepreneur:
"There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration."
A great believer of entrepreneurship, here he is giving advise on how to be a leader and run a successful business. We found it very useful, and inspiring. A middle-classed boy from South London is now a self-made billionaire, he is a living example that shows you that through hardwork, and determination - the sky is the limit !