Like many generations before them, millennials are often accused of being lazy or entitled by their elders. Yet many young people have worked hard and innovated to create a new wave of businesses that have disrupted entrenched industries — and made their millennial founders ultra-wealthy in the process.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed media outlets such as Forbes and Bloomberg to determine the wealthiest self-made millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — by net worth.
Unsurprisingly, nearly all of the richest millennial entrepreneurs earned their money in tech industries. Ubiquitous services like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and Instagram have made their young founders into billionaires. The most well-known of these is Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth is several times greater than that of any other millennial on this list.
Over the last year, the richest millennial entrepreneurs list has changed quite a bit. As technology has spread across the globe, more and more young people have the resources needed to become successful. This list, which last year had 25 of 30 slots filled by Americans, now has just 17 from the U.S., most of them residing in and around California’s Silicon Valley. In addition, the list has six people from China, two apiece from Canada and India, and one each from Brazil, Russia, and Sweden.
There are numerous other millennials worth $1 billion or more who did not make the list because much of their net worth came through an inheritance or a family business, meaning they are not truly self-made entrepreneurs.
There is also at least one member of Gen Z, the generation younger than millennials, who is a billionaire entrepreneur: Kylie Jenner. At just 21, Jenner leveraged the fame and fortune of being in the Kardashian-Jenner family to turn her cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, into a power player in the beauty world, especially among young people.
To identify the richest millennial entrepreneurs in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed sources such as Forbes and Bloomberg to find the people born between 1981 and 1996 with the highest to-date net worth. We used each individual’s real-time net worth as of March 14, 2019. Those without an up-to-date net worth were not considered. Those who inherited their wealth or derived much of their net worth from a family business they did not found were not considered. The age of each entrepreneur is calculated as of March 14, 2019.