Peter Jones’ Net Worth: How He Became The Richest Dragon
The BBC classic might now be in its 17th series but Jones still remains on the panel, making him the last original dragon standing on the show that sees wealthy investors offer investment in return of equity in budding entrepreneurs’ businesses.
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Peter Jones Net Worth: Just HOW Much Is He Worth?
With his estimated net worth sitting at a sickening £490m, you could say Jones has done alright for himself. Despite his multimillionaire fortune, you might be surprised (and/or refreshed) to learn the the 52-year-old won’t actually be leaving any of it to his three kids.
“My kids certainly aren’t going to have the money. They don’t need it.”
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When they were younger he limited them to £25 a week pocket money (modest given his worth), wanting to instil his own working-class background in to his kids. Priding himself on his ‘normal’ kids, he admits he hates the side of capitalism that can change people:
You meet people far more successful than me and they’ve got huge wealth and then you meet their kids and think, ‘wow’. It’s a huge disappointment and that’s the downside to capitalism… If anybody came into contact with any one of my kids they would have nothing but praise for them.”
Always Had A Taste For Business
Since an early age, Jones recalls that he’d always had an interest in business, perhaps stemming from his Dad who headed their family business.
Despite his Dad’s office (comprising of only his Dad), Jones still found himself acting the part in his ‘big leather chair’, pretending to be the business owner and multi-millionaire he had always thrived to be.
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Being a fan of tennis, Jones began working at his local tennis club which happened to be ran by his old English teacher. Working there at weekends and half terms, he soon picked up on the mechanics of the business which only fed his hunger for business even more.
Not long after, he decided to start up his own tennis coaching school- with the skills he picked up from his summer job.
Started From The Bottom…
As he reached his early twenties, the Dragon started to delve in to other passions of his, including computers and technology. Jones’ computer business thrived and allowed him access to life’s luxuries, including a BMW and Porsche. Not strapped for cash, he was flying high whilst business was thriving.
They say all good things come to and end and not long, through numerous knock-backs, including the loss of major customers, the business went bust. Leaving a twenty-something-year-old Jones in hot water, he turned to pursuing yet another passion of his- food.
He admits trying to break the restaurant business was a ‘fun, yet costly mistake’. Not much else is known about this stage of his career, but it failed stop him, instead becoming an employee at a large corporate. For want (and need) of some quick money, Jones was without a car or house, so needed employment, and fast.
In true Dragon style, proving to be the elite business man he is, within just 12 months he was running the UK side of the business. Now there’s a promotion and a half!
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Leading on from that, he went on to pursue his interests in mobile phones, founding Phone International Group in 1998, providing mobile cellular solutions to a range of clients. With its growth over the years has come a rebranding, now operating under the name Data Select. In its first year the company turned over £14m in sales, and £44m by the end of the second. Anything this man touches turns to gold!
Aged just 36, in 2002, Jones received the recognition he deserved, in the form of the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded by The Times/ Ernst & Young. Just the year after, his telecoms group was identified as the fastest growing business in The Sunday Times/ Virgin Atlantic UK Fast Track League Table.
A Dragon And His Den
Between then and now, a lot of hard work and good decisions later, Jones is sitting on a fortune of nearly £500m, owning seven properties across the globe- including one next door to star James Cordon, in LA.
A source of income for Jones these days is of course courtesy of the BBC show Dragon’s Den. Cast as one of the original dragons, on the panel since the first episode kicked off, he’s been throwing money at budding entrepreneurs since it began back in 2005.
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The businesses that have pricked Jones’ interest on the television show have tended to be non-specific. The wealthiest dragon is an investor in more than 40 businesses, covering publishing, food products sold our high streets, and entertainment.
He will turn his hand to anything…
Doing It For The People
Beyond business, Jones has branched out in to investing his money in to the public, via his Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. Educating students aged 16-19 about enterprise and business, Jones has implemented his programmes in colleges across the UK.
His aims for the future are to grow both the academy and the charity he set up which, of course, is aptly named the Peter Jones Foundation.
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The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness for the need of more enterprise education in schools from an early age:
“I’ve been campaigning as much as I can. I’ve been an advocate for 10 years now, across two governments – first with Gordon Brown, then with David Cameron – on enterprise, and really encouraging, pushing, cajoling, to do everything we can to embed enterprise in our national curriculum, and I continue to be disappointed that we just pay lip service to the issue.”
“We need to go back to grass roots – and it’s all about education, encouragement and support.”
With Peter Jones’ net worth being beyond what he had ever hoped, he plans to continue to use it for the greater good.