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BUSINESS PLANS

Top 10 Celebrity Entrepreneurs
 

Plenty of well-known people dabble in business. A smaller number are talented businesspeople, the real deal, and these are the best of them. Plus: Moby, Remixed One part pop star, one part tea magnate. The story of an unlikely but very determined entrepreneur.
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Magic Johnson

Companies

Johnson Development, Magic Johnson Enterprises, Magic Johnson Foundation. Johnson Development specializes in building projects in urban neighborhoods.

Fun Fact:

He is the only franchisee of Starbucks in the country, owning a 50% share of 72 locations.

The defining characteristic of great point guards is vision -- they see the court as no one else does. That's where Magic Johnson the businessman is so like Magic the player. When others neglected urban centers like Harlem and South Central L.A., Johnson saw a need and an opportunity.

Armed with more than his share of charisma, Magic convinced Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday's, and Loews theaters to locate where others feared to tread. Not only was he enriching the communities by giving them a sense of inclusion, but through Johnson Development he was cutting deals that no one else could.

Since 1992, he's built an estimated $700 million portfolio. Even more impressive, he's responsible for helping the world understand that America's inner cities have $85 billion in annual spending power. And make no mistake, this is not simply a company capitalizing on Magic's name and million-dollar smile. It's his company, through and through. He's the CEO and chairman; when he's in L.A., he comes into the office every day and attends most meetings. "He's extremely creative," says Kawana Brown, his chief operating officer and the president of the Magic Johnson Foundation. "And he's a marketing genius." Magic also runs Magic Johnson Enterprises, which controls the licensing of his image and name.

And talk about assists. The Magic Johnson Foundation contributes every year to HIV/AIDS care and prevention and establishes scholarships for inner city kids. "He knows every single one of our scholars," says Brown. And there have been 215 of them.

Last updated: Dec 1, 2004




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