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And the most famous celebrity entrepreneur goes to…

A survey of small business owners conducted by software firm Xero has revealed which global celebrity personalities are looked up to most – spanning television, film, music and fashion.
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US TV host Oprah Winfrey has topped the list of favoured celebrity entrepreneurs, polling more than a third of votes when the question “who would you want to go into business with” was asked.

Winfrey, who hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show between 1986 and 2011 and is worth a reported $3bn from her television and business activities, secured 39.7 per cent of the global vote and 32.1 per cent of the UK vote.

Padding out the rest of the top five on a global basis were actress Gwyneth Paltrow (12.9 per cent), investor and sports team owner Mark Cuban (12.4 per cent), actress Kate Hudson (10.9 per cent) and fashion designer Stella McCartney (8.1 per cent).

When UK results were looked at in isolation, McCartney finished in second place behind Winfrey with 25.4 per cent, followed by Paltrow (16.7 per cent), Hudson (11.9 per cent) and musician-come-entrepreneur Jay-Z (10.3 per cent).

When asked “Who do you least admire”, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian came in first place with a “landslide” 56 per cent of the vote. Donald Trump followed in second place with 27 per cent, with shamed US businesswoman Martha Stewart not far after.

To find out which celebrities small business owners thought had the best chance of making a success of their entrepreneurial endeavours, the question “Who should pursue their side-gig full-time” was posed.

Rap musician Dr. Dre secured 28 per cent to the vote for his work in creating a headphone brand that was ultimately sold for $3bn to Apple in May 2014. Actress Jessica Alba was also highly commended for co-founding successful lifestyle products company The Honest Co. and received 27 per cent of the vote.

Read more about celebrities and business:

In a piece from May 2015, Real Business looked at the female celebrities who had made it big in the business world. Alongside Alba, actress Halle Berry was cited for her lingerie line, Nicki Minaj for her fizzy wine brand and Jessica Biel for her efforts in the food industry.

In 2014, we also looked at the five most bizarre instances of businesses hiring celebrities, without much return on investment. The feature went into detail on Al Gore’s role as a board member at Apple, Alicia Key’s stint as global creative director at BlackBerry and US joining the board of directors at Fender.

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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