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The Most Unexpectedly Profitable Celebrity Businesses (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post   Sherry Shen   First Posted: 06/28/10 05:13 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:45 PM ET

Can't take celebrity prankster Ashton Kutcher seriously? Think again. The actor has built something of a mini-media empire and is one of a handful of celebs who are making millions in their side jobs.

Sure, there've been plenty of celebrity businesses and start-ups over the years -- and many don't get too far once the buzz dies down. Britney Spears opened up the Manhattan eatery NYLA in June 2002. The restaurant received terrible reviews -- along with a few lawsuits -- and eventually closed, with a $350,000 debt.

But there still are a couple of celebrity businesses from which entrepreneurs could learn a lesson. There are even a couple celebrities who are probably getting to be more well-known as entrepreneurs than as entertainers. The eleven we picked have all been highly involved in their businesses by creating unique ideas and designs (Gwen Stefani) or as USA Today reports, buying out their lawyer's minority stake in their own company in order to attain full business control (the Olsen twins).

Katalyst Media
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Ashton Kutcher has big plans for his media production company, Katalyst Media. Founded in 2000, Kutcher's company has already produced popular shows including “Beauty and the Geek,” “Punkd,” and “True Beauty,” and movies like “Guess Who” and “The Butterfly Effect.” In June, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Katalyst Media just signed a two-year development deal with Warner Horizon Television. Last year Katalyst started a partnership with Kellogg to donate to hunger relief organizations. Kellogg donated $10 million and Katalyst used its social media tools to not only get the word out, but to help improve Kellogg Company's image.
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