Famous British Entrepreneurs

Despite taking a beating during the World War, Great Britain has evolved as one of the most thriving economies of recent times, riding on the backs of its entrepreneurs. Recent studies have revealed that Great Britain is home to some of the wealthiest and celebrated entrepreneurs of all time. Apart from helping people overcome their employment woes, entrepreneurs of modern times have also introduced new work cultures, and have managed to break the age-old stereotypes associated with a work environment. The list of eminent entrepreneurs of the UK is incomplete without the mention of self-made billionaire duo David and Simon Reuben, retail king Philip Green and the philanthropic business tycoon Richard Branson. While Branson is renowned for the Virgin Group of companies owning the Virgin Airways and Virgin Mobiles, the Reuben brothers started out in scrap metal business and eventually ventured out to other raw material business and real estate. Ann Summers the CEO of an internationally acclaimed lingerie brand and Lesley Reynolds, the co-founder of the multi-faceted beauty clinic in London are some of the famous female British entrepreneurs who have broken all stereotypes and established a name for themselves in their respective industry. Here we present to you biographies of some of the most famous British entrepreneurs. Acquaint yourself with their life stories, timelines and also a few interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Richard Branson

Richard Branson
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Richard Branson is an English business magnate. The founder of Virgin Group Ltd., which controls over 400 companies, Branson was named on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in The World. Branson has also had a major impact as a philanthropist; he set up a charitable organization called Branson School of Entrepreneurship to provide entrepreneurial training to youngsters.

 2 J. Paul Getty

J. Paul Getty
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: December 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British, American
Died: June 6, 1976

As the patriarch of the Getty family, J. Paul Getty was an influential petrol-industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Company. In 1966, Paul made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the world's richest private citizen. An avid collector of antiquities and art, his collection is preserved at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California.

 3 Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne
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Famous As: Television host
Birthdate: October 9, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne’s wife, Sharon Osbourne is a music manager. She rejuvenated Ozzy’s career by organizing the Ozzfest tour. She was the star of the reality show The Osbournes, wrote several books, was a panelist on Loose Women, and judged America's Got Talent and The X Factor.

 4 Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 10, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Best known for her roles in the Austin Powers franchise, Bedazzled, and The Royals, Elizabeth Hurley began her career as an Estee Lauder model. A trained ballerina, she has also been in the news for her relationship with Hugh Grant and her marriage to textile magnate Arun Nayar.

 5 Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough
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Famous As: British Politician
Birthdate: August 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 24, 2014

Richard Attenborough is credited with making one of the greatest films of all time - Gandhi. Also an actor, Richard served as the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Apart from being honored by the British royalty, he was also honored with India's third-highest civilian award, The Padma Bhushan.

 6 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver
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Famous As: Chef and Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

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 7 Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa Vanderpump
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Famous As: Actress, Restaurateur
Birthdate: September 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Lisa Vanderpump is a British restaurateur, actress, and television personality. Vanderpump has owned 36 restaurants, clubs, and bars in Los Angeles and London along with her husband Ken Todd. Also a well-known philanthropist, Lisa Vanderpump supports charity organizations, such as Keep Memory Alive, which was established to create awareness about neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

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 8 Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: October 31, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi became known internationally when he married the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Beatrice. He is otherwise known as the founder of an interior design and property development company called Banda, for which he also serves as the chief executive.

 9 Robert Maxwell

Robert Maxwell
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Famous As: Media Proprietor
Birthdate: June 10, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: November 5, 1991
Media magnate Robert Maxwell set up Pergamon Press, served as a Labour MP, and acquired media houses such as the Mirror Group and Macmillan. Apart from his lavish lifestyle, he is remembered for embezzling the Mirror Group pension funds. He died after falling off his yacht in the Atlantic Ocean.

 10 Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: December 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Marco Pierre White is known as the world’s first celebrity chef and became the youngest and the first British chef to win three Michelin stars. He has trained chefs Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali, and has appeared on culinary shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars.

 11 Cecil John Rhodes

Cecil John Rhodes
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony
Birthdate: July 5, 1853
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: March 26, 1902
English mining entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes founded the South African territory of Rhodesia, which now consists of the countries Zimbabwe and Zambia. He had been the prime minister of Cape Colony and the chairman of De Beers. He also founded the Rhodes University and launched the Rhodes Scholarship.

 12 Davy Jones

Davy Jones
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: February 29, 2012

 13 Domino Kirke

Domino Kirke
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 17, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British, American

 14 Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American

 15 Heather Mills

Heather Mills
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Famous As: Media Personality
Birthdate: January 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Model Heather Mills lost her left leg in an accident but continued to model using a prosthetic leg. She was previously married to singer Paul McCartney. An avid animal rights activist, she is associated with organizations such as Viva! She has appeared on reality shows like Dancing with The Stars.

 16 Jacob Rothschild

Jacob Rothschild
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Famous As: Banker
Birthdate: April 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 17 Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
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Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British, American
Died: March 23, 2011

Considered an incandescent beauty, Elizabeth Taylor was a very popular and successful actor and her legacy is an everlasting one. She shone in movies like A Place in the Sun, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Butterfield 8 in the 1950s and 60s. Recipient of two Oscars, she married eight times.

 18 Alan Sugar

Alan Sugar
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Birthdate: March 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Alan Sugar is a British business magnate, politician, author, and media personality. He is credited with founding the popular electronics company, Amstrad. He also co-owned the English football club Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001. Also a well-known philanthropist, Sugar donated £200,000 to the Labour Party in 2001. He has also donated for charities, such as Great Ormond Street Hospital.

 19 Philip Green

Philip Green
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: March 15, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

British businessman Philip Green is the chairman of Arcadia Group, a British multinational retailing company. Previously, he was the chairman and chief executive of Amber Day. He has been called the "King of the High Street" owing to his involvement in several major businesses. He is a controversial businessman and has been accused of using sweatshops.

 20 Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone
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Famous As: Business Magnate
Birthdate: October 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Bernie Ecclestone is a British business magnate. Often described as F1 Supremo by the media, Ecclestone served as the Formula One Group's former chief executive. Between 2007 and 2011, he also co-owned the English soccer club, Queens Park Rangers. In the early-2000s, Bernie Ecclestone refused to accept a knighthood, stating that he does not deserve the honor.

 21 Edd China

Edd China
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Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: May 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Edd China is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel show Wheeler Dealers. He has also been part of Fifth Gear and Top Gear. He established Cummfy Banana Limited. After racing a motorized sofa at 148 km/h, China set a Guinness record for the fastest furniture.

 22 Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham
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Famous As: Singer, Businesswoman, Model, Fashion Designer
Birthdate: April 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

An internationally recognized fashion designer and style icon, Victoria Beckham is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the UK. She was appointed an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the 2017 New Year Honours. Also a popular singer, she was part of the best-selling female group of all time, Spice Girls.

 23 Harry Gordon Selfridge

Harry Gordon Selfridge
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Famous As: business magnate
Birthdate: January 11, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: May 8, 1947

 24 Peter Jones

Peter Jones
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 18, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Entrepreneur and reality star Peter Jones is best known for his stints on the shows Dragons' Den, American Investor, and Tycoon. He owns several businesses, including Wines4Business.com and Phones International Group. He received a CBE honor in 2009 and is also a luxury sports car enthusiast.

 25 Neil Morrissey

Neil Morrissey
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 26 Anne Lister

Anne Lister
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 3, 1791
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: September 22, 1840

 27 Brian Epstein

Brian Epstein
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Famous As: Businessperson, Impresario, Talent agent, Talent manager
Birthdate: September 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 27, 1967

 28 Raj Kundra

Raj Kundra
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Birthdate: September 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 29 Rick Stein

Rick Stein
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 4, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Celebrity chef Rick Stein has managed the U.K.’s Stein Hotel and Restaurant with his first wife, Jill Stein. He later became the head chef and co-owner of Rick Stein at Bannisters in Australia, with his second wife, Sarah. He has authored cookbooks and presented culinary shows such as Seafood Odyssey.

 30 Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: May 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Heston Blumenthal is a British celebrity chef whose unusual recipes, such as Scotch eggs and triple-cooked chips have been widely imitated. He is considered a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking and his scientific approach to cooking has earned him honorary degrees from several universities. In 2004, he won the prestigious Chef Award, joining the likes of Phil Howard and Gordon Ramsay.

 31 William Penn

William Penn
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Famous As: Founder of the Province of Pennsylvania
Birthdate: October 14, 1644
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: July 30, 1718

William Penn was a writer and one of the earliest members of the Quakers. He is credited with founding the Province of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the planning and development of the city of Philadelphia. Penn has several universities and schools named in his honor, including the William Penn University in Iowa. 

 32 James Dyson

James Dyson
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: May 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

James Dyson is a British industrial designer, inventor, entrepreneur, and landowner. He is credited with founding the popular technology company, Dyson Ltd. He is also credited with inventing the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. Also known for his philanthropic activities, Dyson established the James Dyson Foundation to support engineering education and to inspire young people.

 33 Spencer Matthews

Spencer Matthews
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Famous As: Television personality
Birthdate: August 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 34 Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 35 Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
British retail magnate Mike Ashley is the CEO of the sports retailer Sports Direct and owns the department store group House of Fraser. He also owns the football club Newcastle United and once owned stakes in Rangers International. He is media shy and is known for his signature white shirts.

 36 Jane Asher

Jane Asher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Jane Asher gained fame as a child actor and later worked in movies such as Alfie and Deep End. She has also appeared in series such as Wish Me Luck and Holby City. She supports autism-related charities, has authored three novels, and owns a cake-making company and a kitchenware brand.

 37 Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden
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Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: February 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 38 David Bale

David Bale
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, South African
Died: December 30, 2003

David Bale was an English entrepreneur and animal rights activist. He worked closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which aims at protecting endangered mountain gorillas, and served as one of its board members. Apart from his work as an activist for animal rights and environmental causes, David Bale is also known as the father of actor Christian Bale.

 39 Gemma Collins

Gemma Collins
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Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: January 31, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Reality star and entrepreneur Gemma Collins soared to fame with reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother, and Dancing on Ice. She later launched her own reality franchise, Gemma Collins: Diva, and her own BBC podcast.

 40 Jack Brooksbank

Jack Brooksbank
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: May 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
British bar manager and wine merchant Jack Brooksbank is better known as the husband of Princess Eugenie, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K. He had met Eugenie on a Swiss ski trip. He is the brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, co-founded by George Clooney.

 41 Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: September 28, 1836
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: January 27, 1910

 42 Frank Williams

Frank Williams
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Famous As: manager
Birthdate: April 16, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 43 Tej Lalvani

Tej Lalvani
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: July 13, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 44 Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: May 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 45 Sarah Willingham

Sarah Willingham
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Businessperson
Birthdate: December 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 46 J. Bruce Ismay

J. Bruce Ismay
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: December 12, 1862
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: October 17, 1937

J. Bruce Ismay was an English businessman. He served as managing director and chairman of the popular shipping company White Star Line, which operated the ill-fated passenger liner RMS Titanic. In 1912, Ismay was subjected to severe criticism after surviving the sinking of the Titanic. In the 1997 film Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay was played by actor Jonathan Hyde.

 47 Conrad Black

Conrad Black
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Famous As: Former Newspaper Publisher, Author, Investor
Birthdate: August 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Canadian-born British former newspaper publisher, Conrad Black, is the author of several books, mostly in the fields of Canadian and American history. A longtime columnist, he wrote a column for the National Post for many years. He is a controversial personality and has been convicted of fraud in the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

 48 Giles Coren

Giles Coren
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Famous As: Food Writer
Birthdate: July 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 49 Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat
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Famous As: CFO of Google
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Nationality: British
Ruth Porat, the CFO of Alphabet Inc. and Google since 2015, was also the CFO and executive vice president of Morgan Stanley earlier. She was seventh on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list in 2020. Named Institutional Investor’s Best Internet CFO, she has served on the boards of various corporate bodies.

 50 Donald Crowhurst

Donald Crowhurst
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: 1932 AD
Nationality: British
Died: June 30, 1969