Rhianna places higher than Jeff Bezos on the index of the most influential entrepreneurs in business today

Influence is something money cannot buy. But how influential are some of the most successful entrepreneurs working in the world today?

Business formation experts ZenBusiness have undertaken extensive research to create the Entrepreneur Influencer Index to measure what corporate leaders wield the greatest power on social media.

The index is scored on ten ranking factors* against a final score of 100.  The key findings are as follows:

  • Bill Gates is the most influential entrepreneur on the index, scoring 76.7
  • Barbados-born Rihanna is the highest placed female on the list at 3rd place, scoring 72.5
  • Despite being worth $198.8bn, Bernard Arnault, is only the 38th most influential person on the index 
  • Almost a third (28%) of the entrepreneurs on the index come from either New York or California

Influence can be challenging to measure with a single metric, so the team at ZenBusinesses used 10 individual factors* that were scored and added together to give an overall influence score out of 100. 

The top 20 most influential entrepreneurs working today are:

Table 1: The Most Influential Entrepreneurs Ranked

1Bill Gates132.1B76.7
2Elon Musk182.1B75.4
4Jeff Bezos195B70.1
5Richard Branson4.9B64.6
6Beyoncé Knowles440M63.4
7Kanye West1.8B62.7
8Jack Dorsey15.3B62.2
9Oprah Winfrey2.7B62.2
10Mark Cuban4.4B61.7
11Martha Stewart400M59.5
12Kim Kardashian1B59.2
13Larry Page116.5B55
14Arianna Huffington100M54.5
15Kylie Jenner700M52.9
16Jay – Z1.4B51.9
17Reed Hastings5.2B47.4
18Alexis Ohanian40M47.3
19Travis Kalanick2.8B47.2
20Warren Buffett103.2B46.1

Source: ZenBusiness

The ZenBusiness team wanted to see how easily money could buy influence. They also recorded the net worth ($USD) of the 50 people on the index to measure this. The top 20 most valuable entrepreneurs on the index are:

Table 2: The World’s Richest Entrepreneurs

1Bernard Arnault198.8B28.938
2Elon Musk182.1B75.42
3Bill Gates132.1B76.71
4Mark Zuckerberg130.6B42.521
5Larry Page116.5B5513
6Sergey Brin112.8B3827
7Warren Buffett103.2B46.120
8Carlos Slim Helú52.1B28.139
9Jack Ma44.8B41.823
10Phil Knight42B22.746

Source: ZenBusiness

Almost three-quarters (74%) of the influential entrepreneurs in the top 50 were from the United States. New York (city and state) and Los Angeles were the most frequently occurring locations when examining the entrepreneurs’ origins.

The top 5 locations where the influential entrepreneurs come from are:

Table 3: Five locations with the most influential entrepreneurs

1New YorkUnited States7
2CaliforniaUnited States7
3MassachusettsUnited States3
5MichiganUnited States2

Source: ZenBusiness 

Commending on the findings of the index ZenBusiness Founder, JC Glancy said:

“Influence, and what that can mean for the success of a business, is becoming increasingly important. Owing, in part at least, to marketing practices on social media, the world has seen the significance of influencers grow over the last five to ten years. However, genuine influence comes from more than just the number of followers or how many likes their posts get.

“We’ve seen the influence of business people sway public opinion, turn the tide of news narratives, raise funding for good causes, and even go some way to influencing the outcome of elections. As such, it can be a powerful tool in the arsenal of somebody in business today.

“By looking closer at the influence of some of the leading entrepreneurs working today, we can not only see more clearly which people can have the most significant impact on the world around them, but we can also look at what they did to earn that level of influence. 

“There are clear opportunities for this to be emulated by people in business all across the United States, and beyond, whether they’re just starting, beginning to grow, or in need of a new challenge.”

Notes to editors

Using a range of sources, ZenBusiness took 50 of the world’s top entrepreneurs and ranked them against ten factors for a total score, out of 100, to determine the most influential entrepreneur in the world. 

We ranked the figures for each factor on a scale with a minimum placing of 1 and a maximum of 50; we then scored each placing out of 10 using normalization. This normalized score was then added together across all ten factors to produce a score out of 100.

*To do this, we analyzed ten unique factors:

1. IMDB Self Credits
Using IMDB, we found out which entrepreneur has the most amount of film and TV credits as themselves.

2. Total Social Followers
Taking the social media following across all four platforms, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram, we discovered each entrepreneur’s combined social following.

3. Forbes Presence
By searching for each entrepreneur on Forbes, we found out the number of articles and lists the business publication mentioned each entrepreneur in.

4. Average Social Engagement
Taking statistics from Twitter and Instagram, we calculated the average engagement rate for each of the entrepreneurs.

5. Average Content Production Across Social Platforms
Taking the number of posts across Twitter and Instagram, we found which entrepreneur created the most content.

6. Google Searches
We discovered the number of times each entrepreneur has been searched for by name on Google per month.

7. YouTube Searches
This represents the number of global searches on the video platform YouTube per month for each entrepreneur.

8. Positive Social Sentiment
Taking the percentage of positive sentiment for each of the entrepreneurs on social media.

9. Wikipedia Page Traffic
By analyzing the Wikipedia page of each entrepreneur using AHREFS, we have found the most visited pages.

10. TED Talk Views
Scouring both the native Ted Talk website and YouTube, we found each Entrepreneur’s highest viewed Ted Talk.


Data correct as of 6th September 2021
Article published by: https://www.zenbusiness.com/