Entrepreneurs have helped shape every aspect of our society. An entrepreneur has been behind every major innovation and advancement that we have had in the past several centuries. These individuals have a dream, passion and motivation that they use to revolutionize a certain industry, or completely create a new one.
What Defines an Entrepreneur?
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” It is derived from the French word entreprendre, which means to undertake. A true entrepreneur is much more than this dictionary definition. They are people who go against the grain with the intent of changing the grain altogether. They drive innovation, long for financial success and sometimes change the way we see the world. Entrepreneurs assume great risk, financially and personally, as they pursue their dreams and passions. Thanks to a few select entrepreneurs, our world has changed for the better.
The below entrepreneurs have revolutionized, or greatly influenced, their industry.
1. Andrew Carnegie – This tycoon of the steel industry tops the list because he was a pioneer of the manufacturing process that is used by many manufacturing plants today. Carnegie came from a humble village in Scotland to be one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs. He made several wise investments in oil and steel manufacturing. He was also a well-respected author who sold many books throughout his life. When he died in 1919, he was worth over $350 million. Today, that would translate to roughly $300 billion.
2. Henry Ford – This Michigan born entrepreneur was born into a middle class family and got his start as a clock repairman. His father gave him a timepiece as a child, and he eventually took it apart just to see if he could put it back together again. He did, and parlayed his mechanical mind into opening a clock repair shop. His mechanically oriented mind was lent to the automobile. He went on to form the Ford Motor Company and pioneered the assembly line, allowing him to be the world’s first innovator to pioneer the automobile manufacturing process.
3. Bradley S Cohen – This modern entrepreneur got his start in real estate at an early age. While he may not be in the history books or a household name, like other entrepreneurs on this list, he has earned this spot by revolutionizing the industrial real estate asset management industry. He formed the company Cohen Asset Management, which continues to make real estate investments that yield an impressive profit for his company and investors. He currently is the president of several investment companies and is an influential member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers.
Influential and Revolutionary Individuals
Throughout history, key individuals have been responsible for leading groundbreaking innovations and advancing our society. The entrepreneurs on this list have come from modest beginnings to become leaders and pioneers of their respective industries.