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Here's how the richest people in the world got their start. David Suarez/Unsplash (CC0)

While one can argue about the ethics behind owning so much wealth in the world, there’s no denying that billionaires play a supersized role in shaping philanthropy, politics and the global economy.

Beyond their riches, these elites are also innovators in their own space -- whether it be in finance, tech or even space. Often, these billionaires are founders of enterprise giants and multinational companies, with much of their wealth coming from the companies that they started.

If you're wondering how the richest people in the world built their fortune, you've come to the right place. Here are five of the world's wealthiest and how they went from an average joe to a multi-billionaire.