Entrepreneurs are no longer just an elite group of privileged individuals who already have copious amounts of money to fund their ventures. Now, anyone can be an entrepreneur. They’re often self-made, beginning their dream in a bedroom, and investing everything they have into their business venture. Many of the huge players we associate with the word “entrepreneur” started out this way.
However, out of those who make it, only a handful become household names themselves. Most work ‘behind the scenes’, powering other companies and keeping a low personal profile. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing entrepreneurs that are synonymous with their brand - the Bezos’, the Gates and the Bransons - it can be easy to forget that many extremely successful entrepreneurs aren’t known by their own name but solely by their brand.
Keeping this in mind, we wanted to find out which entrepreneurs are the most inspiring and who the public are searching to find out more about.
So, we’ve analysed the search volumes of 1,000 of the top trending entrepreneurs listed on world-leading company insight source, Crunchbase. We then chose the top 100 by identifying who had seen the largest search increases over the last 12 months and looked up their search volumes in each country around the world and by the state in the USA.
Why understanding the most Googled people is key to understanding trends within industries and markets
There are a multitude of reasons as to why someone might Google someone else; a life-changing event has happened to a person of public interest, they’re at the heart of a new scandal, their business has just received substantial investment or they’re new to the public eye.
All of these potential reasons have one element in common – they put that person in the spotlight – usually in the news. This causes trends. As the news increasingly covers the person or business in question, more people become interested in finding out just who that person is. And to do that, they Google them.
However, geography plays a huge role in who’s trending. The most Googled person in America will be different to the UK because we predominantly watch the news to find out what’s happening in Britain, not the US. For this reason, seeing who’s trending on Google can tell us a lot about which businesses, industries or markets are on the rise.
A great example is Bumble. Whitney Wolfe-Herd (and we’ll hear more about her later) created the first dating app aimed at catering for women to safely make the first move back in 2014. When her business went public in February 2021, she became the youngest self-made billionaire. This tells us two things; the first, that dating via apps is still in huge demand even post-pandemic and secondly, that socially there is intrinsic value placed on giving women a space to own dating.
These inferences can then give us a tiny glimpse into societal behaviour of where the company is most popular. So let’s get started with who is being looked up the most, worldwide.
The most searched for entrepreneurs worldwide, that are currently trending
Thomas Pasquet ranked as the most Googled entrepreneur across 28 countries worldwide. Pasquet is a serial entrepreneur and business angel hailing from France, well known within digital advertising for his innovative ventures.
He previously founded BeeAd, a leading media ad network in France, before going on to found Ogury Ltd, a mobile advertising agency focussed on privacy protection. Pasquet is currently the Co-CEO of Ogury, a company valued at over $100 million and still in series C round funding.
Interest in Pasquet signals an overall shift in interest towards digital marketing away from more traditional, and typically expensive, types of advertising and raising company profiles. Many businesses have taken a hit since the pandemic began, consequently, smarter, more effective marketing is key to survival for small and large businesses alike.
Daniel Ek ranks second, being the most Googled in 25 countries around the globe and an average of 11,990 searches overall on Google alone each month. Ek is best known for co-founding the revolutionary streaming service, Spotify. The Stockholm born entrepreneur co-founded Spotify back in 2006 in Sweden and currently holds the position of CEO. Forbes estimates that Spotify is currently valued at over $4 billion and ranks Ek as #622 on the worldwide billionaires' list for 2021.
Star stock picker and key Tesla proponent, Catherine Wood, is the most searched for female entrepreneur in the world
Catherine Wood ranked as the third most Googled entrepreneur, ranking first in 13 countries across the world, amounting to 40,440 searches per month. Wood is the Founder and CEO of ARK Invest, an investment firm focussing on innovative ventures like genomics and self-driving cars.
Estimated to be worth over $29 billion in assets, Wood’s company is reported to return an average of 40% over the past five years with no sign of slowing down. Wood is listed as #80 in the Forbes list of America’s self Made Women in 2020 with a reported net worth of $250 million. She’s also listed in the 50 over 50 list for 2021.
Wood is also one of Elon Musk’s biggest backers for Tesla.
Advice from an international female entrepreneur on starting a new venture
These entrepreneurs are leading the way for younger generations to emulate their habits, draw on their techniques for success and inspire them to become their own boss.
We spoke to 22-year-old entrepreneur and German business owner, Anastasia Barner, about her sources of inspiration and what her key advice to other entrepreneurs just starting out would be. Barner founded the mentoring platform, Fementor, when she was just 20 years old and had this advice to share for aspiring entrepreneurs:
"The Song 'Rise Up' by Andra Day describes what I respect and look up to in human beings. I choose to say human beings instead of founders or entrepreneurs, because we all, no matter what we do for a living, have to try to be the best version of ourselves everyday.
I never had a role model because successful founders do not copy the life of others, they try to create new habits and find new solutions to solve problems.
Instead of reading books written by business owners, I try to make my Start-Up FeMentor the best female only Reverse Mentoring Platform that has ever existed. So far we are the only reverse mentoring company in 6 countries, with over 600 Mentors and we grow every day. FeMentor was founded by me when I was only 20 years old, I am now 22 and asking for help has encouraged me to grow as a founder and on rising up.
My mission with FeMentor is to help females to connect and find a mentor for free so no matter what financial background you have you can choose the career you dreamed of.
But if I could grab lunch with any founder I would love to meet Whitney Wolfe Herd, the youngest self-made billionaire and founder of Bumble. Even though she had bad experiences as a co-founder of Tinder, she created an even better product and learned from her mistakes."
LoanSnap founder, Karl Jacob, is the most searched for trending entrepreneur in the UK
Karl Jacob ranked as the most Googled entrepreneur within the UK with a search volume of 22,200. Jacob is another serial entrepreneur who’s companies and ventures span from cybersecurity to social media and personal finance. In May of this year, his current venture, LoanSnap, raised $30 million in seed funding.
LoanSnap is revolutionising how customers apply for mortgages. The platform uses AI to digitally analyse each potential applicant’s financial portfolio to then offer the best mortgage options available, otherwise known as Smart Home Loans.
In a post-COVID climate, where having a home base has become more important than ever, it’s no surprise that companies like LoanSnap have seen a huge surge in interest and demand. Entrepreneurs often have a keen eye to spot trends and create offerings where demand is starting to bloom - a skill Jacob has clearly demonstrated.
Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd is the most searched for female entrepreneur in the UK
Powerhouse founder and self-made billionaire, Whitney Wolfe Herd, ranked as the second most Googled entrepreneur in the UK with 9,900 search volume. Wolfe Herd previously co-founded Tinder but is best known for creating the world’s first dating app where women make the first move.
Estimated to be worth $1.2 billion, Wolfe Herd was the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. She is currently listed within the top 2500 billionaires worldwide on Forbes and is #39 on America’s Self-Made Women list for 2020.
Wolfe Herd is just one example of an empowered entrepreneur setting out to challenge the status quo and disrupt markets with their offering. But how can small businesses disrupt their industry on a smaller level? We asked the owner of an independent startup in the UK their thoughts.
Alex Hickson, owner and founder of UK based novelty candle business, Flaming Cr*p, added:
"Entrepreneurs I look up to are those that have fought the odds and the glass ceilings to get where they are. I look at figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Angelica Ross, who've not only created incredibly successful businesses and careers but fought discrimination and prejudice along the way.
I think forging success in a world where the system is potentially against you and what you stand for shows great determination, grit and the ability to overcome the largest of obstacles. With my own business, we wanted to take a different approach and try to stand out from many competitors by making a statement with our products and brand."
The USA's most searched for entrepreneurs
Karl Jacob ranked as the most Googled entrepreneur across 28 US states. The LoanSnap founder was followed by Catherine Wood, CEO of billion dollar investment firm, ARK Invest who was the most searched for across 11 states.
Placing third is the current US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. Despite working for both the Obama and Biden administrations, Blinken still found time to co-found his own D.C. advisory business. WestExec is the brainchild of Blinken and various other US government officials.
Blinken was the most searched for in 6 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii and Idaho. This could be due to his new position in the Biden administration with Americans keen to find out who their new secretary of state really is. Among the states Blinken was most Googled in, Hawaii has also seen the highest PVI swing to the Democratic party (+18 in 2021).
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US states: The previous 12-month global trend for 1,000 entrepreneurs was collected from Keyword.io to identify the top 100 who have increased in trend in the last 12 months. The SV for these 100 was then recorded across all countries. The top entrepreneur (most popular) was then calculated by looking at which one had the highest search volume. If two people had the same search volume, the one with the higher trend was recorded as the more popular.
Worldwide & UK: The previous 12-month global trend for 1,000 entrepreneurs (taken from Crunchbase) was collected from Keyword.io to identify the top 100 who have increased in trend in the last 12 months. The SV for these 100 was then recorded across all countries. The top entrepreneur (most popular) was then calculated by looking at which one had the highest search volume. If two people had the same search volume, the one with the higher trend was recorded as the more popular.