Over the Christmas break, the Enterprise Team set their Student Ambassadors the question “In your personal opinion, who is the most inspirational entrepreneur of the last 50 years”. Sophie Gregory, a final year English Language & Communication student came back to us with this response…
At the age of 30, Duncan Bannatyne was living a modest lifestyle and residing with his wife in Jersey. When he heard the story of a man who became a self-made millionaire, he was determined to do the same. He achieved his goal only five years later and now his net worth is valued at over 175 million.
While he is famous for his appearances on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, I believe Duncan Bannatyne is not your average businessman. His story is extraordinary; his entrepreneurial career started when he bought an ice cream van for £450. The business soon expanded and he eventually sold the company for £28,000. Since then he has gone on to set up several other businesses including Quality Care Homes and children’s nursery chain Just Learning. In 2006, he branched into the fitness industry, with Bannatyne’s Health Clubs chain which is now largest independent group of Health Clubs in the United Kingdom. He has written several books helping to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs which declare that ‘anyone can do it’ and make a business empire from nothing.
Not only is he an inspiration for his business success; but Duncan Bannatyne supports and actively takes part in social responsibility. He is a supporter of numerous charities such as Comic Relief, UNICEF; and has funded several projects over a ten-year period in Romania, a hospice for orphans with HIV and AIDS. Bannatyne received an OBE in recognition for his fantastic contributions to charity. I believe it is extremely important for businesses and business people to commit to charitable giving in order to help improve the quality of life for people no matter where they are in the world. For me, this is the most fundamental reason for why I think Duncan Bannatyne is the most inspirational entrepreneur of the last 50 years.
Join in the debate – tweet us with who inspires you the most and why @CardiffUniE
Get involved! All semester, we’ll be running events for budding entrepreneurs, curious novices and those who just want to get ahead in the working world: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/cuenterprise/calendar/
Inspired? Find out how you can get involved in ethical and charitable business during Social Enterprise week, 26th-31st January http://bit.ly/151wH7v
Cardiff University Enterprise Team Student Intern
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Enterprise – Careers & Employability,