The Most Famous Entrepreneur in South Africa: Recognizing Prominent Business Leaders

Choose the entrepreneur you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 07:06
Are you ready to cast your vote in the ultimate showdown of South African entrepreneurial prowess? Welcome to StrawPoll's exclusive ranking of "Who is the most famous entrepreneur in South Africa?"! We've gathered the titans of industry, the trailblazers, and the game-changers who've made a significant impact in the Rainbow Nation and beyond. It's time for you to have your say and help us crown the ultimate South African entrepreneur! Will it be the innovator who revolutionized technology or the visionary who transformed the world of fashion? Don't see your favorite on the list? No worries! You can suggest a missing option and rally others to vote for them, too! Unleash your inner decision-maker and join thousands of others in this epic ranking. Are you up for the challenge? Dive in and let the voting begin!

Who Is the Most Famous Entrepreneur in South Africa?

  1. 1
    Elon Musk
    Duncan.Hull · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Elon Musk

    Elon Musk
    Although he was born in South Africa, Elon Musk has achieved global fame as an entrepreneur, co-founding companies such as PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink. He is known for his innovative approach to technology and his vision for a sustainable future.
    Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur and business magnate known for his involvement in various groundbreaking technological ventures. He is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; CEO of Neuralink; and founder of The Boring Company. Musk is highly regarded for his ambitious goals to revolutionize space travel, sustainable energy, and transportation.
    • SpaceX: Space exploration and transportation company
    • Tesla, Inc.: Electric vehicle and clean energy company
    • Neuralink: Neurotechnology company focused on implantable brain–machine interfaces
    • The Boring Company: Infrastructure and tunnel construction company
    • Founder: Zip2 Corporation, (later PayPal), SolarCity (now part of Tesla)
    Elon Musk in other rankings
  2. 2
    Patrice Motsepe is a mining magnate and the founder of African Rainbow Minerals. He is one of the richest people in South Africa and is known for his philanthropy and commitment to social causes.
  3. 3
    Koos Bekker is the former CEO of Naspers, one of the largest media companies in the world. Under his leadership, Naspers invested heavily in internet and technology startups, which has resulted in significant growth and profitability for the company.
  4. 4
    Wendy Luhabe is a pioneering entrepreneur and social activist in South Africa. She is the founder of Women's Private Equity Fund, which invests in businesses owned and operated by women. She is also known for her advocacy for women's rights and economic empowerment.
  5. 5
    Mark Shuttleworth is a technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, and has also been involved in a number of other tech startups. He is known for his support of open-source software and his work in space exploration.
  6. 6
    Johann Rupert
    Szekszter · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Johann Rupert is the chairman of Richemont, a luxury goods company that owns brands such as Cartier, Montblanc, and Dunhill. He is one of the wealthiest people in South Africa and is known for his business acumen and philanthropy.
  7. 7
    Wendy Appelbaum is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist in South Africa. She is the founder of De Morgenzon, a wine estate in Stellenbosch, and has also been involved in a number of other businesses. She is known for her support of women's rights and her work in education and the arts.
  8. 8
    Adrian Gore
    Anjuli33 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Adrian Gore is the founder and CEO of Discovery Limited, a financial services company that offers health insurance, life insurance, and other products. He is known for his innovative approach to business and his commitment to improving healthcare in South Africa.
  9. 9
    Herman Mashaba
    US Embassy South Africa · Public domain
    Herman Mashaba is a successful businessman and politician in South Africa. He is the founder of Black Like Me, a hair care company, and has also been involved in a number of other businesses. He is known for his outspoken views on politics and his commitment to economic empowerment.
  10. 10
    Janine Allis
    Sabrina Hanna · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Janine Allis is the founder of Boost Juice, a chain of juice bars that has become one of the most successful franchises in Australia. She is also a judge on the Australian version of Shark Tank and is known for her entrepreneurial spirit and her commitment to healthy living.

Missing your favorite entrepreneur?


Ranking factors for famous entrepreneur

  1. Leadership
    South Africa's famous entrepreneurs have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, showing they can lead their businesses and teams to success.
  2. Innovation
    Entrepreneurs who have introduced new and innovative products and services and disrupted traditional industries should be highly considered.
  3. Philanthropy
    Entrepreneurs who have given back to the community and contributed to social development should also be recognized.
  4. Public visibility
    Entrepreneurs who have gained high public visibility and have a well-known profile should also be considered. This can be attributed to building a successful personal brand or consistent media attention.
  5. Awards and recognitions
    Entrepreneurs who have received industry awards and recognitions, or who have been recognized by local and international organizations, should be highly considered.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous entrepreneur in South Africa. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or entrepreneur is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 159 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each entrepreneur once every 24 hours. The rank of each entrepreneur is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous entrepreneur in south africa

South Africa has a rich history of successful entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the country's economy. From mining magnates to tech innovators, South Africa has produced some of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world. However, when it comes to determining who is the most famous entrepreneur in South Africa, the answer is not so simple. Some may argue that Elon Musk is the most famous entrepreneur from South Africa due to his global success as the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Others may point to the late Christo Wiese, who built a retail empire that included the popular supermarket chain, Shoprite. And let's not forget about Patrice Motsepe, who made his fortune in mining and is now one of the richest people in Africa. Ultimately, determining the most famous entrepreneur in South Africa is subjective and depends on factors such as industry, global impact, and personal achievements. Regardless of who takes the title, it's clear that South Africa has a rich pool of talented and successful entrepreneurs who continue to make their mark on the world.

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