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The most influential entrepreneurs in global business today

Bill Gates - the most influential entrepreneur in the world.

Microsoft multibillionaire Bill Gates tops a new league table of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.

US-based start-up specialist ZenBusiness undertook the research to create the Entrepreneur Influencer Index.

It measures what corporate leaders wield the greatest power on social media.

The index is scored on 10 ranking factors to produce a final score out of 100.

These factors include the number of film and TV credits each entrepreneur has as themselves on the IMDB website, total social media followers, the number of mentions in upmarket publication Forbes and the volume of Google and Youtube searches, among others.

The top 20 list of entrepreneurial influencers.

Mr Gates trumps his entrepreneurial mega-peers with a total score of 76.7.

Tesla founder and space entrepreneur Elon Musk is in second place, with 75.4, with Amazon founder and rocket-launching rival Jeff Bezos fourth with 70.1.

Barbados-born pop star Rihanna is the highest placed woman on the list in third place, scoring 72.5.

Rihanna

The UK’s Sir Richard Branson is in fifth spot, with a score of 64.6.

Others among the top 20 most influential entrepreneurs include Beyonce Knowles, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner and Warren Buffett.

Nearly one-third (28%) of the entrepreneurs on the whole 50-strong index come from either New York or California. Almost three-quarters (74%) are from the US.

The ZenBusiness research team also looked at net worth in order to see if there is may be a link between wealth and influence.

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of French luxury goods giant LVMH, whose brands include Glemorangie whisky, tops the rich list at £146.2 billion.

Mr Musk and Mr Gates are second and third, worth an estimated £133.9bn and £97.2bn respectively.

Elon Musk

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is in fourth place, worth £96bn, according to ZenBusiness.

JC Glancy, ZenBusiness’ founder, 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 10 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 businesspeople 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.”

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, tops the rich list of entrepreneurs.

Mr Glancy added: “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.”

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