Top 10 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs According To UK Business Owners

Top 10 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs According To UK Business Owners
Top 10 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs According To UK Business Owners

The Virgin Boss reigns supreme as the UK’s most inspiring entrepreneur, with Lord Sugar second. However, many Brits are taking inspiration from the US, with seven Americans in the top ten.

Sir Richard Branson is the UK’s most inspiring entrepreneur, followed by Lord Alan Sugar, but many Brits are inspired by US tech giants.

A recent survey conducted by London tech company UENI asked 1,078 UK business owners to name one entrepreneur who inspired them. Richard Branson was named by 149 people, followed by Alan Sugar (94), Bill Gates with 34 votes and Elon Musk and Steve Jobs on 32 and 26 respectively. One female made it into the top ten – Oprah Winfrey–in eighth position.

Christine Telyan, CEO of UENI, the company which conducted the poll, said: “The poll brought in a huge range of answers, from famous entrepreneurs to family members. Richard Branson is a self-made success, whose fearlessness and hard work helped him build a global brand and a business empire. I think it’s his story of daring, plus his philanthropy, that inspires many people in the UK.”

“Many chose the names of people they see regularly on television or read about in the media,” she continued. “But also family members are clearly inspirational for a lot of people, which reminds us just how many people strike it on their own to setup as a sole trader or a small business. The poll also showed us just how much technology is associated with entrepreneurship, with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg all ranking high in the results.”

Top 10 Inspiring entrepreneurs. Data from UENI

The poll was carried out between May and June 2019, where 1078 business owners were asked to name an entrepreneur that inspired them – they were allowed to choose anyone and were not given prompts.

Just missing out on the top ten was the Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden (11th). Other inspirational females in the top 20 were the pop star Rhianna (14th) the author of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling (19th) and the sports boss Baroness Karren Brady (20th).

Peter Jones was the most prominent Dragons’ Den entrepreneur, beating his fellow panellists. Beating fellow contestants Deborah Meaden and Duncan Bannatyne who came 11th and 12th respectively.

“It’s perhaps not surprising to see Richard Branson at the top of the poll, although it is intriguing that many British-based entrepreneurs look to the United States for inspiration. One notable absence from the top 20 was President Donald Trump – who came in at 23rd,” the CEO added.

She also confirmed that they will run this poll annually, along with other surveys that might help entrepreneurs with their businesses. Specially important about all these surveys is to drive more inspirational women to be part of the list in the future. Because entrepreneurship and success isn’t tie to any gender.

“We read the list of illustrious names and each one reminds you what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur: relentless hard work, resilience in the face of failure, the imagination to build something, and a bit of good luck. Success takes many forms but almost always requires these four things,” she concluded.

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Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of,,, and writes regularly for, Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.