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Simple Business Ideas That Made Millions

One day George de Mestral, a Swiss electrical engineer took his dog for a walk in the woods. When he and Fido got back, Mestral noticed burrs all over his pants. The tricky little devils would not come off. Looking at the burrs under a microscope, he saw that they had tiny hooks that had attached themselves to the loops of thread in his pants. He then got an idea to design a unique, two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric. He patented the invention and named it Velcro. Though his idea was met with resistance and even laughter, the inventor 'stuck' by his invention. Together with a weaver from a textile plant in France, he perfected his hook and loop fastener. Mestral was selling over sixty million yards of Velcro per year. Today it is a multi-million dollar industry.

While Fred Smith was in college his legendary story has it that when Mr Smith was a student at Yale University, he wrote an exam paper for an economics class, outlining overnight delivery service which detailed how the shipping industry would change as a direct result of changing informational needs and advances in technology. He got a C for that paper and received a tepid response from his professor, suggesting the idea was not feasible.From it emerged the well-known overnight shipping company, FedEx. Today, FedEx boasts some $40 billion in yearly revenue which makes Freds net worth an estimated $2.1 billion

While a pre-med student at the University of Texas at Austin, Michael Dell started an informal business of upgrading computers of fellow college students in his dorm room . It was in college that Dell found the niche that would become his boom. The PC world was still young and Dell realized that no company had tried selling directly to customers. Also the potential cost savings of a manufacturer selling PCs directly had enormous advantages over the conventional indirect retail channel, bypassing the middleman and the markups. Dell tapped his savings account for $1,000 and started building and selling computers to his fellow college mates. Soon, he had accounts outside of school and it wasn't long before Dell dropped out and focused all his efforts on his business. The numbers proved staggering. In 1984, Dell's first full year in business, he had $6 million in sales. By 2000, Dell was a billionaire. Today, he has an estimated net worth of $13.5 billion.

Dorrance took a very simple idea and converted it into a multi-billion dollar food empire. In 1897, John Thompson Dorrance who had been working as a chemical engineer at the Campbell Preserve Company invented condensed soup. His imagination saw that by partially removing the water and with the use of additives to preserve colour and flavour, soup could be packaged into a smaller can, thereby reducing packaging costs. Boxing and shipping costs were also reduced significantly in getting the product to market. Campbell Soup is now the world's leading soup maker with $7.7 billion in revenues. After his death, his grandchildren run the Company making all of them billionaires.

A maverick entrepreneur and self-made multi millionaire, Sina Gerard is probably Rwanda's richest entrepreneur. Although he started out selling his food from a roadside stall, he was soon known not for his snacks, but what he put on them -- his famous "Akabanga" chilli sauce. Yeah dont be surprised, He made his wealth from the very plant he grew up in his village surrounded with, which he now produces in industrial quantities. Akabanga, a variety of chilli so strong that workers making it are required to wear a face mask. It has become popular in Rwanda and is shipped across the world for customers wanting the ultimate spicy kick.With his focus & innovation on driving agricultural change he has begun producing strawberries, grapes and apple for wine.

When Tetra Pak's founder Dr Ruben Rausing died in 1983, he was Sweden's richest man. And all because of cartons or paper liquid food packages he invented in the 1950s. Dr Ruben Rausing's primary idea was to replace bulk selling of unpacked food with consumer adapted packaging. So he created a tube from a roll of plastic-coated paper, filled it with a chosen beverage and sealed it below the liquid level. This way, the shelf-life of the liquid could be increased a hundredfold. His first product was a tetrahedron shaped carton used to package milk. Today, practically all paper packages for liquid foods is manufactured by Tetra Pak with revenues of 9.8 billion euros in 2010, which makes his son Hans Rausing who sold his share of the company to his late brothers children, a billionaire with a net worth of $US 10 billion.

Pioneer in breeding of chickens in China, he started his company Sunner Development with a $3000 equivalent loan in Fujian province which enabled him to purchase quite an amount of chicken and also build facilities to contain them. Guangming then became a chicken supplier who got his big break in 1994 when he earned KFC as a client; he also signed an agreement with McDonalds to do the same in a joint venture. Meanwhile, Guangming also plans to

enlarge his current farm scale from the current 60 million chickens annually to 96 million in 2010. The chicken breeder recently became a billionaire in 2011 with a net worth of $1.0 billion.

Malaysians came to Ghana to learn about palm oil production in the 90s, its beneficiaries like Lee Shin Cheng, Head of IOI Group had a great vision from this new found oil business. Determined Lee went on to build the world's biggest palm oil producing and agribusiness group with an idea and an oil palm seed. His Group employs 30,000 worldwide. He has made it clear that it would be a clich to consider crude oil as the only lucrative oil business. The palm oil guru currently has a net worth of $5.5 billion.

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