Duncan Bannatyne OBE

Duncan Bannatyne OBE

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Serial Entrepreneur & Dragon

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It all started with one ice-cream van for the hard-hitting dragon from Glasgow and he’s been whipping companies into shape ever since. Now Duncan owns hotels, health clubs and bars. He motivates budding entrepreneurs with his rags to riches story.


Duncan Bannatyne has proved that, no matter how humble their origins, anyone with enough determination and energy can achieve success. In his book, ‘Anyone Can Do It’, Duncan describes how he went from a poverty-stricken childhood in Glasgow, to being one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.

Duncan’s company, The Bannatyne Group, runs hotels, health clubs and bars. They have now branched into property and are building a number of residential developments. But it all started with an ice cream van that Duncan bought for £450. He expanded until he had a fleet of vans and has been whipping companies into shape ever since; first with care homes, then nursery schools and even a radio station.

Duncan has now added a flourishing media career to his business commitments and is perhaps best known as one of the formidable ‘dragons’ on BBC’s Dragon’s Den. He also presents Mind Your Own Business, in which he turns round failing companies and Rich List Give Away, in which he encourages wealthy people to give money to charity.

Duncan’s own charitable work earned him an OBE and he is an Honorary Fellow of the United Nations Children’s Fund. Through his work with Scottish International Relief, he helped fund two orphanages in Romania and Columbia. Duncan holds an honorary Doctorate of Science from Glasgow Caledonian University for services to business and charity.

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