This is a guest post by Richard Madison, Marketing Executive for the Brighton School of Business and Management which is based in the UK and offers business and entrepreneurial courses to a range of students. He regularly writes about business, management, leadership and workplace insights.
According to Forbes there are 1,810 billionaires in the world in 2016.
These billionaires hold a combined net worth of $4.48 trillion dollars. What is interesting is the fact that there were more billionaires than ever before in 2015 when there was a record number which stood at 1,826. And 2016 is the first year since 2010 that the average net worth of a billionaire has actually dropped. It now stands at $3.6 billion dollars which is $300 million dollars less that what it was in 2015.
While many of the world’s wealthiest self-made billionaires will be familiar names such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Zara founder Amancio Ortega and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, the youngest on the list are only becoming familiar to the world in the past few years and their stars are still on the rise.
The Youngest Self-Made Male and Female Billionaires
The world’s youngest self-made billionaire is Evan Spiegel, who was born in 1990 and will turn 26 years of age in June of this year. He is one of the co-founders of Snapchat, the mobile photo and video messaging app which only launched in 2011 but already has well over 100 million daily users and is rapidly rising. He is estimated to have a personal net worth of $2.1 billion dollars based on a 13% shareholding in Snapchat which has an approximate value of $16 billion dollars.
The world’s youngest self-made female billionaire is Elizabeth Holmes, who was born in 1984 and turned 32 in February of this year. She is the sole founder of Theranos, a billion dollar bio-technology organization with a revolutionary approach to blood testing which launched in 2003 with a goal to make clinical testing cheaper and faster. She is estimated to have a personal net worth of $3.6 billion dollars based on a 50% ownership stake in Theranos which is valued between $7 billion and $9 billion dollars.
Both of these young billionaires attended Stanford University and both subsequently dropped out before graduating.
Outside of their business success and both of them being founders of large scale influential organizations that is where their similarities come to an end in both their professional and personal lives.
Holmes studied chemical engineering where she filed her first patent for an advanced drug delivery patch while still in Stanford. In her freshman year she became a President’s Scholar which came with a $3,000 stipend to go towards a research project. She also spent a summer working in the Genome Institute labs in Singapore working on ground-breaking SARS research.
Spiegel, on the other hand, studied product design and was part of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he met his future co-founder of Snapchat, Bobby Murphy. He was known to aggressively network while attending Stanford to meet influential people. This led to a meeting with Scott Cook, co-founder of tech company Intuit where Spiegel took up a job while he was still a student.
For an illustrated look at these two highly successful and fascinating self-made billionaires, see this infographic created by the Brighton School of Business and Management.