The Creative Entrepreneur - Andrew Carnegie - June 2024

The Creative Entrepreneur - Andrew Carnegie - June 2024

Jun, 1 2024

Welcome to the very first of it’s kind. Each month I’ll be exploring past, present and future pioneers of incredible movement in the field of their expertise. ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’ – will highlight the strengths and accomplishments of both men and women who are simply extraordinary at what they do.

This month I’ll be looking at Scottish- American businessman Andrew Carnegie. To give us an introduction to this gentleman take a look at this short film –

So it was very much a rags to riches story for Andrew, determined not to end up in absolute poverty, he built up an empire on the U.S  Steel, a major steel making corporation.

His humble beginnings found him as the son of a handloom weaver. Yet this didn’t deter Andrew for higher prospects in life. He was educated at the Free School in Dunferlime, a gift to the town from the philanthropist Andrew Rolland of Gask.

Andrew’s uncle, Scottish political leader George Lauder,Sr had a powerful influence on him growing up. He introduced him to the work of Robert Burns’ writings and historical Scottish heroes such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and Rob Roy.  This connection stayed with him into adulthood and George’s son went on to become his business partner.

At the age of 12 his father experienced financial loss as a handloom weaver, in addition the country was in starvation.

These events played a part in shaping the adult Andrew was to become. He didn’t want to repeat the poverty stricken times his father was left in and so endeavoured to find a way forward for financial security.

As mentioned in the video Andrew was able to make a salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year by the time he was appointed as a superintendent of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The railroads were the first big business in America and the Pennsylvania was one of the largest of them all. So he really struck gold when he saw the potential for career growth and financial gain.

This all occurred during his young life yet he devoted his time and resources for much of his adult years. At the time of his retirement, Andrew was one of the richest men in America. Yet he didn’t throw that money away on himself. Andrew spent his latter years in philanthropy, giving away his funds to charities. These charities gave money to Universities. Even now over a hundred years since his death on August 11th 1919 Andrew is honoured with Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Libraries.

In his will, he gave gifts to several funds, institutions, societies and to Pittsburgh University. He also gave gifts to his employees and family.

It was Andrew’s conscience that was a reminder what a truly humble man he was. He gave a substantial amount of money to charities, pensions, schools, libraries and museums. Why? Because after a disaster happened outside his company people thought he was a bad person. He strongly believed that by giving all that money away people would perceive him as a kind man.

 This is a lesson for us all. Even when we’re at the top of our game, earning good money, we must never let pride or ambition go to our head. If we remain humble and look for the good in others we will leave a legacy behind that will be remembered fondly forever.

^Alex Ashworth CCG Blogger