Tremendous entrepreneurial instincts, brilliant commercial nous and phenomenal business success confirms that Duncan Bannatyne OBE is proof that rags to riches does exist and he is a completely self-made man in the truest sense of the word.
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Duncan Bannatyne OBE is one of the UK’s most successful ‘serial’ entrepreneurs who has created a portfolio of respected leisure businesses as well as carving out a high profile media career. In addition to a chain of 61 health clubs, Duncan also owns a number of hotels, a bar and launched a company building high quality residential property. Outside of his business interests, Duncan is best-known as a panellist on BBC Television’s 'Dragons’ Den'. His strong opinions and sharp comments to the programme’s would-be entrepreneurs have made him one of the most popular Dragons in the Den. He also appeared in ITV’s philanthropic ‘Million Pound Giveaway’ where Duncan and four other millionaires chose good causes to donate their own money to.
Duncan was listed as 351st in the 'Sunday Times Rich List' and was awarded an OBE in the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to charity. As a fervent charity fundraiser Duncan supports a number of key charities including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Scottish International Relief. He was named as an Honorary Fellow of UNICEF and, through his work with Scottish International Relief, has helped fund two orphanages in Romania and Columbia.
Success for Duncan has been hard earned and the former Navy Stoker, who grew up on a tough tenement estate near Glasgow, has proven that anyone with the right idea, commitment and dedication can become a millionaire. After his naval career, which included a spell in military prison, Duncan drifted from job to job ending up in the Channel Islands. It was here that Duncan made the decision to turn his life around. His first entrepreneurial venture was Duncan’s Super Ices in the North East of England, which expanded from a single ice cream van to a small fleet. Since those days of 99’s and cornets Duncan’s business interests have progressed to include nursing homes, children’s nurseries and radio stations. He set up Bannatyne Fitness in 1997 and has grown the company to become the largest independent health club operator in the UK.
To find out more about Duncan’s ‘rags-to-riches’ story and how he transformed himself from a 30-year-old ‘beach bum’ into one of Britain’s top entrepreneurs read his page-turning autobiography, ‘Anyone Can Do it’ (Publisher Orion). He has also written six other books - 'Wake Up and Change Your Life', 'How to be Smart With Your Money', 'How to be Smart With Your Time', '43 Mistakes Businesses Make', '37 Questions Everyone in Business Needs to Answer', and 'Riding The Storm'.