10 Rich Entrepreneurs With Zero College Experience

We always hear that in order to be successful and strive in life, we have to get a degree. That only if we get a diploma we will be able to get a job. But hold on, here is a list of 10 entrepreneurs who are the exception to this rule. Check it out and get inspired, who knows if you are the next no-college-experience-entrepreneur!

Sir Richard Branson

Possibly one of the most interesting billionaires on the planet, with a net worth of 4.8B according to Frobes. He has no college degree and on his last day at school, his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told him he would either end up inside a prison cell or become a billionaire. Branson began his first successful business venture from a church where he launched a magazine called The Student. Branson interviewed hot names at the time (1960’s) such as Mick Jagger and R. D. Laing. Branson advertised popular music records in The Student and it was almost an overnight success. Virgin Records grew throughout the years but it wasn’t enough for Branson who went forward and founded Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, and launched Virgin Mobile in the year 1999.




John Paul DeJoria

Net worth: 4 billion dollars. Believe it or not this guy without any college experience, is a high school graduate who founded Paul Mitchel Systems and helped found The Patron Spirits Company. That’s right this magnate is into shampoo and tequila. And not just any tequila! But how did he do all of this without attending to any higher education program? He has only got a high school diploma! Well apparently DeJoria sold shampoos from his car knocking from door to door until he teamed up with hairdresser Paul Mitchel. This is when they founded the company and became a giant hair care producer. He also owns 70% of tequila Patron and has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies such as “Don’t mess with the Zohan.” Pretty cool.


Amadeo Peter Gianini

This guy was a multimillionaire who founded Bank of America. That’s right, the founder of Bank of America did not attend college and even worse, he dropped out of high school. How do they do it?

Amadeo attended school until the age of 13 and dropped out because he realize he could do much better being a businessman than being at school. He saw a huge potential in the market, cause at the time, banks were only for the benefit of the rich, and there was, at the time, a growing immigrant population.  Frustrated with this, he decided to start his own bank, which was later known as the Bank of America.




Coco Chanel

Oh la la Chanel! Thank you Coco for founding this timeless and iconic clothing brand. Coco was a French fashion designer, but she was only able to design until later. She started as a seamstress and did not attend any school. She was known for liberating women from corseted silhouettes and introducing casual clothing making it widely acceptable even when against the norm. But of course Chanel’s aesthetic was predominantly chic and feminine. She was able to form an empire and develop her brand throughout. This woman had so much determination and ambition that she achieved a home run in her business life as well as her social life, that the company’s net worth nowadays is around 19 billion dollars. Not bad.



David Karp

David Karp is the founder of Tumblr and like you can imagine this guy dropped out of school at the age of 15 to be home schooled. Following that, he still did not attend college. But this means nothing when it comes to being successful. Karp is a self-taught web developer and entrepreneur. He founded and is now the CEO of blogging site Tumblr. Karp’s net worth is over 200 million dollars!  Not only that but Tumblr is worth 800 million dollars. In 2003 the big Internet Company Yahoo, bought Tumblr for 1.1 billion dollars but left Karp as the CEO. This is a clear success story, and not only because of what he achieved, but also for his young age. In 2009 he was named the Best Young Tech Entrepreneur. Way to go.

Dov Charney

Who doesn’t love American Apparel? Well this guy is the founder of it! And you wont believe it; he started this company while he was still in high school! And of course never went to college. Dov is a Canadian businessman born and raised in Montreal. But Dov’s clear passion for US culture led him to start American Apparel and build the brand around the same culture. He decided to place the company’s headquarters and factory in LA. He wanted to create a vertically integrated company having production distribution and marketing all in one place. He was against every other clothing company that outsourced their production to make it cheaper. This entrepreneur, gives fare wedges and is against outsource manufacturing. Going against the flow is not always a bad thing!




Ingvar Kamprad

Have you heard of IKEA? Of course you have. Who hasn’t? Well Ingvar Kamprad is the founder of the furniture retail company, and of course he is one of the richest people in the world. His net worth is 3.4 billion dollars! And of course like you can imagine, Ingvar, Swedish entrepreneur, did not attend college, as he is dyslexic. Well, this is to show that no obstacle can stop you. In March 2010, Forbes, estimated that his fortune totals about 23 billion dollars making him the 11th wealthiest person in the world. Poor guy, right?!




Rachel Ray

Food entrepreneur and cooking show star, Rachel Ray, has proven that formal culinary training is not a necessity for her, as she did not receive culinary education nor attended college. Rachel Ray became known for her television show called “ 30 minute meals,” 40 Dollars a Day” and Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels. Her loud and unique personality took her very far!! Besides these ventures she has also become a TV show producer and has been involved in some other projects as well. If you have never cooked one of her recipes, tune in “The Food Network” and enjoy of delicious, simple and easy recipes. No doubt this woman has surprised us with the fact she did not get a degree.




Simon Cowell

Another entrepreneur that surprised us that did not get a degree, nor attended college is Simon Cowell. That’s right! This music and singing judge, TV producer and music producer has a lot on his plate. His net worth is over 300 million pounds. That’s a whole lot of money! Cowell is known to be the strict and cruel judge from Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol and The X factor in UK and America.  But he is also known for signing contracts with artists and producing music shows, such as the one he mentors in: The X factor. Cowell’s know-how in the industry is what helped him succeed, and apparently not a college degree!




Walt Disney

Yes! The founder of Disney dropped out of secondary school when he was only 16! Now we know he had better plans than being stuck at school, like, no big deal, start the biggest animation industry in the world! He was a film producer, animator and entrepreneur and contributed and influenced the entertainment industry during the 20th century. We all grew up to his movies and for sure left a mark in all of us. Today, Disney is still producing movies, and like expected very successful ones. Nothing else to say, this guy, was one of the most important guys in the entertainment industry and also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world without even finishing high school. Very impressive!