Are you looking for inspiration? You won’t have to look further than this list of 25 speakers. With thriving companies, these celebrity entrepreneurs are models of success. They are famous for their athletic prowess, thespian talent, musical gifts, and stunning looks. These men and women have created flourishing businesses and will inspire you with their passion.
25 Inspiring Celebrity Entrepreneurs
An Emmy Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur, and best-selling author, Martha Stewart is America’s most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher. Millions of people rely on her as a source of useful “how-to” information for all aspects of everyday living, including cooking, entertaining, gardening, home renovating, collecting, organizing, crafting, healthy living, holidays, and pets. Her namesake company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, reaches approximately 66 million consumers across all media platforms each month with an expansive portfolio that includes television and video programming, award-winning magazines, best-selling books, and innovative websites and applications.
Founder, The Honest Co.
Jessica Alba is an actress, activist, mother, wife and entrepreneur. Known throughout the world for her acting career, the mother of two daughters launched The Honest Company, with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane, in January 2012. In an industry consumed by toxic and harmful products, The Honest Company responds to the need for safe, effective, and affordable products for the home, children, and babies. Honest conveniently delivers fashionable, eco-friendly products, that families need most, right to your homes. Ranging from diapers and wipes to household cleaning detergents and a full line of body care products for children, all of the products were created with children’s well being in mind and designed to represent a friendly, healthy and sustainable future
CEO, Kathy Ireland Worldwide
One of the 50 most influential people in fashion according to Fairchild Publications, Kathy Ireland is the CEO and chief designer of her remarkably successful design and marketing company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW). Founded in 1993, it has become a “design empire which grosses over 1.9 billion dollars annually in retail sales,” as reported by Forbes magazine. Named one of the top 10 women’s health advocates in America by UCLA, Ireland supports numerous charities, including Elizabeth Taylor’s HIV/AIDS Foundation, Feed the Children, March of Dimes, Alliance for Christian Education, and Barbara Ireland Walk for a Cure (founded by her mother).
4Earvin “Magic” Johnson
CEO, Magic Johnson Enterprises
Johnson is chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, which provides high-quality products and services primarily to ethnically diverse and under-served urban communities through strategic alliances, investments, consulting, and endorsements. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America’s most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
Co-Founder, Katalyst Media
Ashton Kutcher is an actor/producer and co-founder of Katalyst, a new breed of studio developing innovative content for TV, film and the social web. Based in Los Angeles, Katalyst is driving a radical shift in the way content is created and consumed. Founded in 2000 by partners Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, Katalyst film credits include The Butterfly Effect, Guess Who, Spread and Killers. Television property credits include the hit series Punk’d, Beauty and the Geek and True Beauty. In 2010, Katalyst was named one of the year’s Top 50 Most Inspiring Innovators by Ad Age and one of Fast Company Magazine‘s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies.
A young entrepreneur, industry pioneer and highly regarded marketing expert, as well as a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success, are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, Daymond John (The Shark) has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly sought-after branding expert, author, consultant, and as a speaker in business and motivational genres. A highly regarded marketing expert and author, John is the founder of iconic fashion brand FUBU (“For Us by Us”), which effectively created the then-untapped urban apparel market.
Owner, The Dallas Mavericks
When Mark Cuban purchased the Dallas Mavericks on January 14, 2000, the face of the organization began to change immediately. Once again Mavericks games had a party atmosphere as Reunion Arena rocked with the return of the “Reunion Rowdies.” Mavericks games became more than just ordinary NBA games – they were a total entertainment experience. Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet, in 1995, selling it to Yahoo! in July of 1999. Before Broadcast.com, Cuban co-founded MicroSolutions, a leading National Systems Integrator, in 1983, and later sold it to CompuServe.
President, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
Dana White is the president and brains behind the UFC. Dana rose from humble beginnings in New England to acquiring the UFC in 2002 when it was at the verge of bankruptcy. He proceeded to grow the UFC to a multi-billion dollar enterprise that many believe will be bigger than the NFL in the United States and the World Cup worldwide. The fight began 26 years ago, the day a fresh-out-of-high-school 19-year-old named Dana White left a cushy gig working as a hotel valet. Today, the dream that inspired White to get into the fighting game so many years before has become a reality. UFC is the undisputed champion of the MMA world, with fights in 175 countries, over 100 UFC training facilities worldwide and a television presence that has reached over a billion households.
CEO, The Tyra Banks Company
Tyra is CEO of The Tyra Banks Company – a place where beauty meets entertainment. In 2012, she graduated from the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School and is a proud alum. She recently developed Fierce Capital, the investment arm of The Tyra Banks Company, which invests in early-stage companies, including firms that are female-led or female-focused. However, her passion is the TZONE Foundation, a non-profit organization that invests in young women to help them realize their ambitions and approach life’s challenges with fierce determination. The TZONE has transformed over the years and now takes residence at the Lower Eastside Girls Club Center for Community in New York City.
Renowned Rapper and Entrepreneur
Born Shawn Corey Carter in New York City on December 4, 1969, Jay Z grew up in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects. He used rap as an escape, appearing for the first time on Yo! MTV Raps in 1989. After selling millions of records with his Roc-a-Fella label, Jay Z created his own clothing line and founded an entertainment company. Roc-a-Fella was founded in 1995, and was sold in 2007. However, Jay Z still retains creative and operational control of the company. Jay Z also fiunded the 40/40 club, a chain of sports bars with a club atmosphere. He wed popular singer and actress Beyoncé in 2008. In 2012, the couple had their first child, Blue Ivy. In the summer of 2017, the power couple had twins.
CEO & Founder, Atom Factory
Troy Carter is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment management company defining popular culture globally. As a digital and social entrepreneur, Carter has defined the careers of numerous recording artists, including Meghan Trainor, and others. After founding Atom Factory in 2010, Carter and his Atom Factory artists began scaling the web’s largest social media audiences on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In 2011, to focus the potential of these distributed networks, Carter co-founded Backplane, a Silicon Valley start-up that unites people around affinities, interests and movements.
Rapper, Record Producer, Entrepreneur
Dre (Andre Young) was born in February 18, 1965, Los Angeles, California. He was raised in Compton, and got his nickname by adoring basketball superstar, Dr. J. In July 2008, Dr. Dre released his first brand of headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. The line consisted of Beats Studio, a circumaural headphone; Beats Tour, an in-ear headphone; Beats Solo & Solo HD, a supra-aural headphone; Beats Spin; Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, also an in-ear headphone; and Diddy Beats. In autumn 2009, Hewlett-Packard participated in a deal to bundle Beats By Dr. Dre with some HP laptops and headsets. In May 2014, technology giant Apple Inc. made a bid for the Beats by Dre brand for a reported $3 billion. This makes the takeover Apple’s most expensive purchase by far. The deal reportedly made Dr. Dre the “Richest Man in Hip-Hop”, surpassing former leader, Diddy.
Gwyneth Kate Paltrow is an Academy Award-winning American actress. Born as the daughter of a Hollywood director and an actress, she was raised both in California and New York. Gwyneth Paltrow made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. Gwyneth is also known for her high-profile friendship with popstar Madonna, her love for macrobiotic cuisine and her lifestyle website, GOOP. In April 2013, she was named as People magazine’s annual Most Beautiful Woman. Paltrow has been the face of Este Lauder’s Pleasures perfume since 2005. She is also the face of American fashion brand Coach, owner of the lifestyle company Goop.com and author of the cookbook My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness.
Talk Show Host, Actress, Producer, Philanthropist
In 2008, Oprah and Discovery Communications announced plans to create OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, a multi-platform media venture designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN debuted on January 1, 2011, in 67 percent of homes in the United States and 80 percent of cable homes. Effective Fall 2011, Oprah assumed the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer for the network. In 2010, she formed Harpo Creative Works. Through her company’s film division, Harpo Films, Oprah has produced projects based on classic and contemporary literature that have garnered the highest industry honors for quality acting and production.
Founder, Skinny Girl
As a chef to best-selling author and reality TV star to self-made businesswoman and recent mom, Frankel’s wit, wisdom and humor first came to national attention when she was named first runner-up on NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Network executives saw a personality they couldn’t ignore, and how she connected with audiences, so they put her center stage on Bravo’s hit series The Real Housewives of New York for three seasons. She emerged as the star of the series, with a huge network of fans, which led Bravo to create a spin-off series, Bethenny Getting Married that premiered with the highest ratings ever in Bravo history and continued with Bethenny Ever After… She returned to the Real Housewives of New York City for season seven after taking a three season hiatus.
16Sir Richard Branson
Founder, Virgin Group
Sir Richard Branson is founder of the Virgin Group. The brand began in 1970 as a mail order record retailer and record label which went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Today, Virgin is one of the world’s most irresistible brands and has expanded into diverse sectors such as air and rail travel, leisure and hospitality, telecommunications, health and wellness, and space travel in 50 countries, with revenues of $24B.
CEO & Founder, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group
Sean Combs, the CEO and founder of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group is a multifaceted entertainment powerhouse. Sean “Diddy” Combs was recently declared “One of the Most Influential Businessmen in the World” by TIME magazine and CNN. Combs oversees one of the world’s preeminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, apparel, fragrance and restaurants. Combs is a proud father to sons Justin, Christian, Quincy, daughter Chance and twin girls D’Lila Star and Jesse James. He currently divides his time between New Jersey and Miami.
Fashion Designer, Author, and Entrepreneur
The Lauren Conrad brand continued to evolve in 2007, after she launched her first clothing line; The Lauren Conrad Collection. The Lauren Conrad Collection appeared at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, in Los Angeles, for 2 consecutive years. Lauren also designed a dress for the Trophy model at the 2008 Emmy Awards. Lauren’s second line debuted shortly thereafter in October 2009. In addition Lauren developed and runs her successful website LaurenConrad.com, which is a way that Lauren continues to expand her brand and stay in direct contact with her supportive fan base.
Bobby, a New York Times bestselling author, shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and television programs. His twelfth cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction was released in April 2013. Since debuting on Food Network in 1994, he has continuously hosted programs that bring cooking tips and information on American regional fare to a national audience. His first show, Grillin’ & Chillin’, premiered in 1996. Other programs include Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay. A recipient of several awards, including four Emmys, Bobby works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food – making it bold, zesty, and always fun.
Kate Hudson was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Academy Award–winning actress Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, an actor, comedian, and musician. Hudson’s breakthrough role was as Penny Lane in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous (2000), for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2013, Hudson began a partnership with online fashion retailer JustFab to launch her own line of workout clothes and active wear called Fabletics. Most recently, she was the voice of a character in the 2016 animated film, Kung Fu Panda 3. Additionally, her book PRETTY HAPPY: HEALTHY WAYS TO LOVE YOUR BODY, will be published in February 2016.
Professional Skateboarder, Entrepreneur
At the age of 11, Rob Dyrdek picked up a skateboard and began riding. Twenty-four days later, he won his first competition. Dyrdek soon became the youngest member of the G and S Skateboard team. Dyrdek turned pro for Alien Workshop at 16 and his first competition at the 1991 World Championships, he placed fourth. Despite his numerous entrepreneurial endeavors, Dyrdek never lost his dedication to the sport of skateboarding itself. In his mid-20s, Dyrdek returned to competing and founded the Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza Foundation — an organization seeking to build skate parks for young skaters. In June 2005, the 40,000 square foot Kettering Skate Plaza opened and provided street skateboarders a legal place to hone their skills. The Skate Plaza even won the Modernism Award from Dwell Magazine for Dyrdek’s design work.
Tennis Superstar, Activist
Venus Williams is an athlete, entrepreneur, best-selling author, Olympic Gold medalist, activist, designer, and tennis champion. Williams entered the pro ranks of the Women’s Tennis Association when she was 14 years old. Soon, the whole world was watching her rack up 43 WTA Tour titles and three Olympic Gold medals, break the record for fastest serve ever recorded (129 mph), and compete in the longest finals match in Wimbledon history (two hours and 45 minutes). Venus Williams inspires audiences through her tireless energy and dedication to every endeavor – from launching EleVen, her line of fashionable sportswear, and V*Starr Interiors, a company that specializes in commercial and residential interior design, to continuing to fight for gender equality on and off the court.
NBA Chamption & Olympic Gold Medalist
Kobe Bryant is a five-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP and a 15-time All-NBA player. He has appeared in 17 NBA All Star Games, earning three NBA All Star MVP recognitions. To start building his post-basketball career, Bryant formed Kobe Inc. in 2013. Kobe Inc. is a multi-media content creation company focused on helping athletes learn the process of excellence and maximizing potential. Kobe Inc.’s first project, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, debuted on Showtime in February 2015 and in China in August 2015 via a partnership with the Alibaba Group. Bryant executive produced the first-of-its-kind documentary, which earned a Clio Award in May 2015. Other athletes have now adopted the Muse documentary format as the gold standard for storytelling.
24Scott “Scooter” Braun
Founder, SB Projects
Scooter Braun is the definition of the new age entrepreneur, one of TIME magazine’s 2013 “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Billboard’s 2013 “40 Under 40” headliner, and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He is the founder of SB Projects, a company at the intersection of music, film, television, technology, brands, culture and social good. The diversified company combines creativity, the ability to engage global audiences and an understanding of “what’s next” to deliver innovative ideas as a leading architect of popular culture. As Braun continues to expand SB Projects, he remains committed to the company’s founding philosophy of giving back and incorporates a philanthropic tie-in to every initiative. Braun also serves as Chair to the Advisory Board of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools in the developing countries.
Actress and Founder of Preserve
Blake Lively was born in Los Angeles on August 25, 1987. Her father was an actor and director, and her mother was a talent scout. During her junior year of high school, Lively had an audition for and landed a major role in the 2005 blockbuster chick flick The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Two years later, Lively landed her most famous role to date on the CW’s hit teen drama Gossip Girl. Lively also founded the ecommerce website Preserve, with the intention of blending commerce, storytelling and philanthropic efforts in 2014. Lively shut down the website October 9, 2015 with the intention of launching another company in the future.
All American Entertainment (AAE) is a full-service talent booking agency dedicated to representing the interests of meeting and event planners. AAE has helped thousands of the most respected companies, organizations, and universities identify and secure high-profile keynote speakers and celebrity talent for personal appearances, speaking engagements, promotional campaigns, and a wide range of other functions. AAE’s talent base includes professional business and motivational speakers, best-selling authors, top athletes, award-winning comedians, TV personalities, musicians, celebrity chefs, and many others.