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Dragons' Den: How Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett and more made their fortunes

Read their incredible stories here...

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Are you a fan of Dragons' Den? The BBC show, which has been on screens for more than 15 years, gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to change their lives and become outrageously successful businessmen and women.

But have you ever wondered how the Dragons themselves made their fortunes? We did some investigating and here's what we found out...

WATCH: Sara Davies dances the Quickstep on Strictly

Peter Jones

Peter Jones CBE has always had an eye for business and started his first aged 16, setting up a tennis coaching school. However, the road to success hasn't always been easy; at one point, he had to move back in with his parents after a deal went wrong.

peter jones© Photo: BBC

Peter Jones started his first business at 16

But after spending investing in a myriad of sectors, from media and hospitality to retail and property, he now boasts an estimated net worth of £1.157 billion as of 2021, according to The Sunday Times Rich List. 

MORE: Dragons' Den: 6 most successful businesses from the show

MORE: Inside Dragons' Den millionaires' luxurious homes: Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden & more

Sara Davies

Sara Davies made her fortune in the crafting sector. Over ten years ago, when she was just a student, she founded Crafter's Companion from her university bedroom. Spotting a gap in the market for an envelope-making tool for card makers, Sara decided to invent one herself!

sarah davies© Photo: BBC

Sara Davies started her own crafting company while still a student

With the help of her engineer dad and husband Simon, she grew the business from a kitchen table startup to a £37million business that now sells thousands of crafting must-haves all over the world.

Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden launched her first business -  a glass and ceramics import company - when she was just 19. It became hugely successful, supplying the likes of department store Harvey Nichols, but it was in leisure parks that Deborah really made her fortune.

deborah meaden© Photo: BBC

Deborah made her fortune in the leisure park industry

She became Managing Director of Weststar Holidays in the nineties and worked tirelessly before selling the company in 1991 for £33million. She continues to make money as a full-time investor, and is now worth an estimated £40million, according to Spear's magazine.

Steven Bartlett

Steven Bartlett is the latest recruit to join the lineup of business leaders on the show and is the youngest dragon to do so. Most of Steven's money comes from being the founder and CEO of social media marketing agency, The Social Chain. He founded the company in 2014 with co-founder Dom McGregor after dropping out of university. 

The Social Chain now has a market valuation of over £300million and reaches over 200 million millennials across all platforms. The company also has global clients including Apple, McDonald’s and the BBC. Steven has even become a Sunday Times Bestselling author with his book, Happy Sexy Millionaire.

steven bartlett© Photo: BBC

Steven dropped out of university to start his business

Tej Lalvani

Former dragon Tej Lalvani started his career working in the warehouse of family business Vitabiotics. His father, professor Kartar Lalvani, founded the company in 1971 and Tej succeed him as CEO in the early noughties.

tej lalvani© Photo: BBC

Tej Lalvani started his career working for his family business

Since taking over the reins, Tej has grown the business into one of the UK's leading and most innovative nutrition companies, and it currently has a turnover of over £300 million a year. 

Touker Suleyman

Touker Suleyman is best known as the founder of quintessentially British menswear brand Hawes & Curtis and is credited with reinventing the seminal 90s womenswear label, Ghost. But before that, he was working in accountancy.

touker soulyman© Photo: BBC

Touker Suleyman is a fashion mogul

Realising it wasn't for him, the retail mogul entered into a joint venture with a leather factory and soon after established a clothing manufacturer supplying to some of the biggest names of the British high street. He is now worth a staggering £150million, according to Spear's magazine.

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