Celebrities that are genuinely successful in business

The celebrity entrepreneur is often a target for ridicule, naturally. There are enough cases of a public figure pumping money into some harebrain idea or endorsement that the two words should rarely be used in conjunction, Woody Harrelson’s oxygen bar anyone? Despite this, celebrities often have the profile, liquid assets and connections to transform their fame into a serious fortune – if they can overcome the stigma that is. These are the celebrities that did, launching successful careers outside of the entertainment business.

Jessica Alba


Many a teenage boys (and grown mans, for that matter) celebrity crush turned an allergic reaction to a laundry detergent into a billion dollar business. Her company, The Honest Co., was launched in 2011 and as she said last year, “It took three years of people not getting it [before she was taken seriously]”. Revenues tripled in 2014 to $150 million and there is now talk of an IPO in the near future, at a valuation of $1.7bn, that Goldman Sachs are orchestrating. Beauty and brains.


The questionable launch of streaming service TIDAL aside, Jay-Z, real name Shaun Carter, has some serious business acumen. The rapper, who boasts more than 100 million records sold and 21 Grammy Awards, has multiple ventures outside of his career behind the mic. The most successful being Roc-A-Fella records and entrainment company Roc Nation, a company the organises and schedules entertainment events across the globe. He is also the part owner of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, and with television money in the sport skyrocketing, it’s not a bad time to be in the NBA. For 2015 alone, Carter raked in $56 million, per Forbes.

Oprah Winfrey


Possibly the most recognised celebrity who made it big in business on the back of fame, Winfrey has a reported net worth of around $3bn, thanks to her entrepreneurial savvy. The daytime TV stalwart has raked in ratings and cash through he company Harpo Productions, which later launched the OWN television network. Her career as a presenter may have made her a billion but the rest certainly came after from her own success in the world of business.

Robert DeNiro


Acting may have been a very successful day job for DeNiro, a career which has spanned over 40 years, but plenty of his success has come away from the silver screen. Restauranteur has always been a clichéd route for the celebrity entrepreneur to take, and an oft-miserable one also, but DeNiro bucked the trend here. Co-founder of famed sushi joint Nobu, as well as other eateries, the Raging Bull star has raked in hundreds of millions in revenue.

Ashton Kutcher


Credits in a variety of easily-forgotten teen films and romantic comedies may be what Kutcher is best known for, but away from attempting to act, his venture capital firm A-Grade Investments is doing exceedingly better then his on-screen performances; investing in the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Shazam, to name but three. Last year, Kutcher, and investment partner Guy Oseary also launched a new fund, Sound Ventures. Whilst through A-Grade he was mainly investing his own money, he’s playing with others through Sound and if his track record is anything to go by, Kutcher is a safe bet.

(All images: Getty)

Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?

Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.

Click here to find out more