7 self-made millionaires

7 self-made millionaires
Photo: By Financial Times - Sir Philip Green, Chairman, Arcadia Group (Centre);Chris Grigg, CEO, British Land (R), CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Ever wondered what it takes to make your first million and become a millionaire?

We’re a bit inundated in Australia with local news and stories, so it’s time to analyse somewhere else in the world for a different perspective.

The UK is a great business hub for innovation and entrepreneurship; and we think that these UK-based millionaires are doing something right.

A far cry from the born-with-a-silver-spoon business people who got an easy ride investing money they were born with, these self-styles business-people made it to the top as a result of their own hard work and determination.

Here are seven success stories of seven of Britain’s most impressive self-made millionaires.

Phillip Green

Phillip Green (or, I should say, Sir Phillip Green) is a household name in the UK. Green’s £3.88billion fortune today comes from Arcadia Group, the clothing retail company that owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and others.

But what not so many people know is that Green started out with a tiny capital of only £20,000, which he used to import jeans from the Far East to sell to retailers in London. However, in more recent years, Green has come under fire for alleged tax avoidance and for failing to safeguard the health and wellbeing of factory workers in the developing world.

Mike Ashley

Having left school at only 16-years-old, Ashley has pursued a life-long love of sports; his first job was as a squash coach. This transformed into well-known sport supply giant Sports Direct, which is today worth £3.75billion.

Ashley started small, initially opening a modest sports and skiing shop in Maidenhead off the back of a £10,000 bank loan. Little by little his business ventures grew – going to show what happens when your business is your passion.

John Caudwell

John Caudwell is a prime example of what happens when businessmen are quick to notice emerging trends. Back in 1987, Caudwell noticed that mobile phones were slowly becoming more and more commonplace.

Initially opening a small mail-order business for mobile phones based out of the Midlands, Caudwell now enjoys a £1.5billion fortune thanks to his business, The Carphone Warehouse.

Askshay Ruparelia

Ruparelia, at only 19-years-old is the UK’s youngest millionaire. Aged only 17, while his friends were most likely playing FIFA and chasing girls, Ruparelia was making his first million.

He did it through his business doorstep.co.uk which aimed to take on traditional estate agents and their large fees. The son of two deaf parents, one a care worker and the other a teaching assistant, Ruparelia’s wealth is completely self-won.

Carl Silverstone

Today, Carl Silverstone is one of London’s most successful young entrepreneurs. A multi-disciplinary business owner (most notably Alpine Studios and high-end events company Aquila) he certainly started small, selling sweets in the school playground for profit.

Though one of the only millionaires on this list with a formal education in Business, Silverstone never completed his business degree at the University of East Anglia, leaving in his second year to focus on the business ventures that were already flourishing without formal learning.

Silverstone’s success goes to show that life-experience can sometimes be just as valuable as education.

Sam and Dan Houser

Creators of controversial video games company Rock Star Games, brothers Sam and Dan Houser created their first majorly successful game: Grand Theft Auto. Their childhoods were spent absorbing American gangster movies and Westerns for free at the video library near their home and thus came the inspiration.

At the time of release, Grand Theft Auto was one of the most successful video games ever made and despite controversy, goes down in history as one of the most expansive and high-quality gaming experiences of all time: another example of staying true to the things you love.

Rita Sharma

Rita Sharma comes from very humble beginnings, but it was her upbringing that inspired her to start her travel business WorldWide Travels which is now worth £65million.

Sharma grew up in a cramped windowless flat near Oxford Street – feeling claustrophobic, she dreamed of travel and of helping others to see the world. After dropping out of college, and after her husband (a former accountant) quit his job to help run the business, the company went from strength to strength.