Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou - easyGroup's Serial Entrepreneur
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - In 1995 at the age of 28, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, using seed capital from his family's shipping company business, started easyJet in the United Kingdom. Today, easyJet is the dominant low-cost European airline that has now grown to a fleet of 170 aircraft, with over 400 routes flown between 103 airports in 26 countries. easyJet's trademark orange and white coloured aircraft now carry more than 45 million leisure and business travellers each year at prices that most would argue deliver excellent value.
theirEarth took this photo of Stelios last weekend (May 9, 2009) at the fundraising event for International Needs Monaco, a foundation based in Monaco that provides direct infrastructure support to build new schools for children in regions of need throughout the world. The International Needs Monaco fundraiser was held on the S.S. Delphine, an historic luxury passenger yacht, launched in April 1921 near Detroit, Michigan, and originally built for an earlier successful entrepreneur, Horace Dodge, one of the two brothers of America's Dodge automotive brand.
In the early days of easyJet in 1995, Stelios worked extremely hard on his start-up and even personally handed out boarding passes to his customers. In opening further new businesses like easyInternetCafe, easyCruise and easyHotel, Stelios has become known as the easyBrandBusinessman who drives entrepreneurship by keeping very close to the efficient foundations of each venture. Sir Stelios refers to himself as a Serial Entrepreneur, and in the global league of business creation, there are few people who can claim the diverse entrepreneurial successes that he has had.
In 2000, Stelios floated an IPO for his easyJet airline [easyJet.com] on the London Stock Exchange, and in parallel with this he created the easyGroup that today acts as the entity that manages his 'easy' brand of businesses. Stelios is the largest single holder of easyJet plc and he remains as a non-executive director on the Board for the company.
In 2006, at the age of 39, Stelios received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his exceptional services towards the enhancement of global entrepreneurship. Stelios continues to search for new entrepreneurial opportunities and at the same time, he has offered a combined 200 scholarships over the next ten years to entrepreneurial students at the London School of Economics, and at London's Cass Business School, from where he graduated with a specialist Masters degree in Shipping, Trade and Finance in 1988.