Kamprad was born in Pjätteryd, Sweden and was raised on a farm near the province of Småland. His paternal grandfather was from Germany, but moved the family to Sweden.
In his childhood he was heavily influenced by his german father and grandmother political believes, and took part in a fascist movement in his teenage years, which he later described in his book as "the greatest mistake of my life".
Kamprad began to develop his entrepeneur skills as a young boy, selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle. He found that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, and still make a good profit by selling them. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, and later ballpoint pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a cash reward for succeeding in his studies.
And this is how IKEA was born.
Later that decade, stores opened in other parts of the world, such as Japan, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore. IKEA further expanded, opening stores in countries such as France and Spain, Belgium, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy. The company then expanded into more countries in the 1990s and 2000s. Germany, with 50 stores, is IKEA's biggest market, followed by the United States, with 44 stores, but IKEA's first place for the biggest store belongs to Gwangmyeong, South Korea, although not for long since IKEA is planning to break a world record and open the biggest store in the world in Seoul.
At the end of the 2016, the IKEA group operated 392 stores in 48 countries.
IKEA funds programmes that address the need of a healthy and safe place for children to call home, creating circles of prosperity for those living in poverty. In this way, they help children build better futures, for themselves and their families.
They developped long-term, strategic partnerships with both large and small organisations, working with their partners to find innovative solutions, influence governments and bring about substantial changes in children’s lives.
IKEA believes that home is the most important place in the world and children its most important people.