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5 mega entrepreneurs with no A-levels

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Not happy with your A-level results? No sweat, you’re in good company.

Browse the Sunday Times Rich List and you’ll find a bevy of British billionaires and millionaires who have no A-levels or a degree.

So rise above your disappointing A-level results and take inspiration from these mega entrepreneurs:

Sir Philip Green

Wealth: £3.8bn

Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green bid school goodbye at 15 to set up a shoe importing company. Today, he owns his global empire of 3000 shops on five continents. His global empire Arcadia Group owns retail giants like Topshop, BHS and Dorothy Perkins. With a £3.8bn wealth pile, we don’t think he misses having a degree.

Mike Ashley

Wealth: £3.7bn

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley left school at 16 to be a professional squash player. But as luck would have it, an injury wrecked his dreams. Today, he owns a plethora of sports brands including Donnay, Lonsdale and Dunlop Slazenger. He also owns Newcastle United football club and has invested over £260m in it.

Sir Richard Branson

Wealth: £3.6bn

Branson space jet

Sir Richard Branson quit school at 15 after dyslexia didn’t let him concentrate in class. He then set up the Virgin empire which today has over 400 operations including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money, Virgin Media and Virgin Trains.

His advice for you? “Forget exam results (everybody else does sooner or later!)”

Lord Alan Sugar

Wealth: £900m

Lord Sugar

Lord Alan Sugar’s one GCSE didn’t stop him from amassing a £900m personal fortune. A Hackney tailor’s son, he started Amstrad in 1968. His views on university? “A waste of time”

In an interview with The Telegraph, he said: “I don’t think the outcome [of not going to university]would have been any different. And I would perceive three years at university as a waste of time. I would have already made £200,000 by then. I’m a commercial person, not an academic.”

Theo Paphitis

Wealth: £250m

Theo Paphitis at the UKTI Explore Asia conference

Theo Paphitis left school in 1976 to become a tea boy for a Lloyds of London broker. He turned his life around and a few companies too. Back in 1998, he bought La Senza for “a pound and two packets of Benson & Hedges” and sold it in 2006 for a stonking profit of over £100m.  He bought Ryman in 1995 when it went bankrupt and today, the turnover of the company is over £125m.

Now read:

Securing Britain: Responsible Business – Youth Unemployment, Education & Workforce

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