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10 Champions of British Enterprise

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James Dyson

Company: Dyson

Net Worth: 2.65 billion pounds ($4.2 billion)

Dyson literally cleaned up by improving the humble vacuum cleaner. He credits his school hobby of long-distance running with teaching him determination, a handy trait for his later life. It took Dyson over 10 years to break the U.K market with his product – a vacuum cleaner which did not lose suction.

Relying on his art teacher wife's salary, Dyson spent five years perfecting his "G-Force" prototype only to be turned down by every U.K. manufacturer and distributor. The industry feared the loss of the lucrative vacuum cleaner bag market, which Dyson's prototype wiped out after entering the market. By the early 90s, The Dyson Dual Cyclone had became the fastest selling vacuum cleaner in the U.K. Dyson set up his own manufacturing company and broke into the mainstream after the "say goodbye to the bag" slogan proved a success with the public.

Dyson hasn't stopped innovating and his new product Dyson Airblades aims to replace toilet hand-dryers.

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