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10 Celebrities Who’ve Started Their Own Business

We may admire our favorite celebrities for their talents onscreen or onstage, but you’d be surprised to learn about what they do behind the scenes. In addition to the careers they’ve established in Hollywood, many stars have also fulfilled their business career goals by starting their own businesses. Some are related to the entertainment industry, while others chose to pursue other fields they’re interested in. Whether or not they attended one of the best business schools, these celebs have proved that they have a strong business sense.

  1. Diddy – Sean “Diddy” Combs enrolled in one of the best business programs at Howard University after high school to pursue a business degree. He eventually dropped out to purse a career in music, but he hasn’t lost his drive to be a businessman – he’s now estimated to be worth $500 million. Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide encompasses his record label Bad Boy Records, the Sean John clothing line, a movie production company called Sean by Sean Combs, a fragrance called “I Am King,” and an Atlanta restaurant.
  2. Ashton Kutcher – Ashton Kutcher founded a production company called Katalyst Media in 2000. It has since produced hit TV shows and movies. Kutcher has also partnered with Warner Horizon Television to further develop projects and with Kellog to donate money to hunger relief organizations.
  3. Gwen Stefani – Many celebrities try to break into the fashion industry, but most of them fail miserably. With the success of her L.A.M.B. clothing label, Gwen Stefani is one of the few exceptions. She makes almost $100 million a year from the line. Her second line, called Harajuku Lovers, consists of apparel and accessories and is very successful as well.
  4. Will Ferrell – Will Ferrell makes people laugh onscreen, but he’s a successful businessman behind the scenes too. He co-founded the website Funny or Die with Adam McKay. Millions of people watch the videos posted on the site, which has helped launched the career of several comedians. HBO bought 10% of the site for $10 million in 2010.
  5. Sammy Hagar – The former front man of Van Halen is cashing in on his love of partying. His company Cabo Wabo, which makes Hagar about $60 million each year, owns bars, restaurants, resorts, and liquor company. His brand of tequila is now the second best selling brand in the country.
  6. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen – The careers of many child stars fizzle out as they get older, but the Olsen twins have thrived in all their business ventures. Their company Dualstar earns them about $1 billion each year. They’ve also become very well known in the fashion industry for their high-end brand.
  7. Paul Newman – Paul Newman passed away in 2008, but not before founding a successful food company. Newman’s Own was started in 1982 as a way to sell salad dressing, and later expanded to many other types of food. The company donates all profits after taxes to charities.
  8. Robert DeNiro – DeNiro loves Manhattan and he’s dedicated to doing what he can for the section of New York City. He co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, which is now one of the most popular film festivals in the world. He also co-founded the Tribeca location of the restaurant Nobu, which attracts many celebrities.
  9. Iman – Iman first achieved fame as one of the world’s best models, but all her experience in the industry made her realize how hard it was to find good makeup for her skin. She launched her own cosmetics brand, which is now one of the top-selling cosmetics brands at drugstores and which makes her $25 million each year. She also launched her own clothing line on the Home Shopping Network.
  10. Ron Howard – Ron Howard founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 with producer Brian Grazer. It makes millions of dollars each year and has released successful movies and TV shows.