These 7 Christian entrepreneurs have seen their businesses expand globally and become household names:
John D Rockefeller
He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and set the standard for modern philanthropy.
He was a devout Christian who taught in Sunday school and supported many church-based projects throughout his life. Rockefeller was quoted as saying “God gave me money”, and he did not apologise for it. He followed John Wesley’s principle of “gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.”
From his very first paycheck, Rockefeller tithed ten percent of his earnings to his church. As Rockefeller’s wealth grew, his giving also increased, with most of his giving going towards educational and public health causes, as well as basic science and the art.
He became the world’s richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars. After taking into account inflation, he is often regarded as being the richest person in modern history.
Within a few years, Tyler Perry went from being homeless to selling out theatres. Tyler Perry is an outspoken Christian who credits his success to God. In 2006, he established Tyler Perry Studios and in 2008 it moved to its current location – a 200,000 square foot studio facility situated in Southwest Atlanta, USA.
In 2013, Forbes estimated his earnings at US$78 million.
Henry Heinz was a nineteenth century Christian businessman who founded the Heinz company 1869. Heinz based his business on Christian principles and proclaimed that his success was a direct result of his faith in God. Heinz was committed to bringing out the best in people and his company was credited for its fair treatment of workers and for pioneering safe and clean food preparation.
Today the Heinz company is worth around $12 billion. It’s most famous product is tomato ketchup, with 650 million bottles of Ketchup being sold every year.
Cher Wang is a Taiwanese entrepreneur who co-founded smartphone maker, HTC Corporation and VIA Technologies. Her late father was Wang Yung-ching, who was one of the richest individuals in Taiwan. Wang is a devout Christian who was quoted as saying that the Bible is “the best book about management practice”. One of the most important things she has learned from the Bible is that a person must have a vision, otherwise he or she will be destroyed. The vision for HTC Corporation came during her early career whilst Wang was working in First International Computer. As she dragged bulky, heavy computers to client offices, she knew there must be a better way of designing a computer that could fit in the palm of your hand. In 1997 she acted on that vision and HTC Corporation was born.
In May 2011, Forbes ranked her and her husband Wen Chi Chen as the richest people in Taiwan. Following some challenges with HTC’s sales dropping in recent months, Forbes ranked her and her husband’s as Taiwan’s 13th richest people with a combined net worth of US$2.5 billion in 2013.
Sam Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur, best known for founding the Wal-Mart retail stores. With his strong Christian background based on ethics and hard work, Walton excelled in school, college, and business. Early in his career, he worked as a management trainee for J. C. Penney.
In 1998, Walton was included in Time’s list of 100 most influential people of the 20th Century and Forbes ranked him as the richest man in the United States from 1982 to 1988. Interestingly, Bill Gates only topped the list for the first time in 1992, the year Walton died.
Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean born businessman who founded Econet Wireless. South African based Econet Wireless is now a global telecommunications group with operations, investments and offices in more than 15 countries. A born again Christian, Strive Masiyiwa was quoted as saying that he reads his bible for at least 4 hours a day – if he’s busy! He tithes 10% of his annual income to his church. Together with his wife, he personally pays the school fees for over 22,000 Zimbabwean orphans.
According to Forbes, as of November 2013, he has an estimated net worth of US$600 million.
Mary Kay Ash
Mary Kay Ash retired in 1963 after being passed over for a promotion in favour of a man that she had trained. She intended to write a book to help women in business. The book soon turned into a business plan, and in 1963, Mary Kay Ash began Mary Kay Cosmetics with a $5,000 investment.
The founding principle of Mary Kay Cosmetics was known as the “Golden Rule”, upon which the company’s marketing plan was developed to allow women to advance by helping others to succeed. She advocated “praising people to success” and her slogan “God first, family second, career third” expressed her belief that the women in her company should keep their lives in the right balance.
Mary Kay was honoured as the number 1 leading female entrepreneur in American history.
Do you know any other inspirational Christian entrepreneurs? Leave your comments below.