Celebrating US Entrepreneurs & Their Journey!
You could arguably say that America was built on the backs of people willing to take a chance. Without entrepreneurs such as John D. Rockefeller, that were willing to take a chance, where would our country be today?
National Entrepreneur’s Day, celebrated on November 15th, 2022, celebrates the achievements of entrepreneurs and how they successfully built their business empires. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at what an entrepreneur is, what National Entrepreneur’s Day celebrates, and some of the most influential American entrepreneurs.
What Is An Entrepreneur?
The Oxford Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as 'a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.’
An entrepreneur is any individual that creates a brand new business, takes on most of the risks, and has the potential to benefit from most of the rewards. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart or anyone that’s averse to taking risks.
Entrepreneurs are commonly seen as innovators in their industry, sources of new ideas, services, goods, and business procedures.
Entrepreneurs play an integral role in our economy. They utilize their skills and initiative to anticipate needs, bringing products and services to market often before mainstream businesses.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t without a higher level of risk, as well as work. Many entrepreneurs go at it on their own or with a small team of highly-driven employees. However, it's not fair to expect everyone on the team to be an expert at everything business. But now entrepreneurs have access to virtual assistants, fractional marketing teams, and independent bookkeepers, as well as other services, to help them further build their business, improve their brand identity, and drive additional sales.
What Is National Entrepreneur’s Day?
National Entrepreneur’s Day is an annual event celebrating entrepreneurs on the third Tuesday of November. This year, National Entrepreneur’s Day is celebrated on November 15th. It honors entrepreneurs that have built their business empires from nothing into the powerhouses that they are today.
The History of National Entrepreneur’s Day
The word entrepreneur first appeared in a French dictionary in 1723 and came from the French word entreprendre, which means to undertake. Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon defined the term entrepreneur as someone that pays for goods at one price and then sells them at an uncertain price. It could be that they make a profit or a loss depending on the market, what they’re selling, and the demand for their goods.
It wasn’t until 2010 that National Entrepreneur’s Day was established as an official day of recognition. Siamak Taghaddos, an entrepreneur himself, began a petition to officially recognize American entrepreneurs. Approximately six months later, and thousands of signatures later, President Obama proclaimed the last day of National Entrepreneur Week as the official National Entrepreneur’s Day.
The Biggest and Most Influential Entrepreneurs
America has always been considered a melting pot for cultures and ideas. Below, we’re celebrating five of the most influential entrepreneurs in American history and their achievements.
Andrew Carnegie – “The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”
Originally immigrating from Scotland to America, Andrew Carnegie was an entrepreneur born from the lower classes whose family immigrated to Pennsylvania. Carnegie ultimately ended up founding the Carnegie Steel Company, becoming one of the most influential companies in United States history. However, Carnegie didn’t just stop with steel, either. He successfully invested the money he made from Carnegie Steel Company into various other projects, including car companies, messenger services, and oil-rich land purchases. In 1919 Carnegie had a net worth of approximately $350 million, which would translate to roughly $5.5 billion today.
Oprah Winfrey – “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”
Oprah Winfrey is a shining beacon to all those that are battling to overcome a tough beginning in life to become successful entrepreneurs. She started in the television industry in 1983 and founded her own multimedia company, Harpo Studios, in 1988. Off the back of her successful television show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, she later founded the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) in 2008. As of 2021, Winfrey has an estimated net worth of approximately $2.5 billion. In addition, Oprah founded the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation in 1993 and has helped thousands of people and organizations across the United States.
Bill Gates – “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
Bill Gates is arguably one of the most well-known American tech entrepreneurs and is currently one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world, with a net worth of over $130 billion. Gates grew up in Seattle and always had a natural affinity for computers. Gates enrolled in the prestigious Harvard University before dropping out to found Microsoft, one of the biggest computer software companies in the world. Microsoft is currently valued at over one trillion dollars but stepped down from the Microsoft board in 2020 to focus on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Larry Page – “Invention is not enough. Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people.”
Larry Page is the co-founder of Google, yes Google, that search engine that you probably use multiple times per day, 365-days a year. Along with Sergey Brin, Page, while a student at Stanford University, used an initial investment of $100,000 to create and develop Google. In 2005, Google restructured to form Alphabet Inc., and Page is the serving CEO. Page’s net worth is approximately $125 billion.
Sophia Amoruso – “Treat your mind like your money, don’t waste it.”
Sophia Amoruso had her fair share of failures when building her empire but has since managed to pull through and create an inspiring brand for Millennials.
In 2015, she stepped down as Nasty Gal’s CEO and watched the company file for bankruptcy, but this was just a setback and went on to develop her new venture, Girlboss, a site that’s dedicated to advising and empowering women on wellness, beauty, careers and more. Although she went from having a net worth of $280 million in 2016 to $5 million today, her entrepreneurial spirit landed her a spot on this list!
Tory Burch – “If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough”
After gaining work experience in some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Loewe, Tory Burch decided to spread out her wings and build her own label. In 2004, she launched her very own fashion brand, which has become a huge success with unique and on-trend designs.
With her rise to fame, Burch wanted to get involved in philanthropy and founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which supports women with cancer and provides awareness to young women about the disease.
Entrepreneurship is Challenging
Being a successful entrepreneur isn’t an easy path to walk in life, especially if you’re doing it all by yourself or with a very small team. And it definitely isn’t for anyone that’s averse to taking risks in their business ideas, strategies, or investments.
There are often ups and downs, successes and failures. It’s all about the journey and finding that one idea that elevates you to the top of your profession or industry.
About 6° Media If you want to create a digital culture for your company that wins over customers' hearts, 6° Media is here to help. Our skilled marketing experts can foster your business's continuous growth at scale, on-budget.
Note: All images were sourced from LinkedIn and Google. 6° Media does not own the rights to any of the images that have been used in this article. If you would like to have any of these photos removed, please don’t hesitate to contact us.