- Founded a tennis academy at age 16
- Ran Siemens Nixdorf’s UK computer business
- Started Phones International Group in 1998
- Appears regularly on television and owns a portfolio of assets
Millionaire Peter Jones is one of the business minds on BBC television show Dragon’s Den and has interests in the mobile telecommunications, leisure, media and property sectors.
At 40, Jones already has a string of business ventures and awards to his name, including being named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.
The towering entrepreneur was born on March 18th 1966 and grew up in Berkshire, England, where he disliked his private school so much that he used to run away. Eventually transferred to the state school system he left Windsor Boys School at the age of 18.
Jones claims that his upbringing was very comfortable, as both his parents worked, but states on his website that he “I always wanted more� much more”. Having set up a successful tennis academy at age 16, after passing the Lawn Tennis Association’s coaching exams, he continued to dream of becoming a top businessman.
After leaving school, the young Englishman established his own computer business, which made him the cash he craved and enabled him to buy a BMW, a Porsche and a home.
However, a series of mistakes and difficult circumstances led to the collapse of the business and Jones was forced to start from the bottom again, trying his hand at computer support and owning a bar and restaurant before deciding to join technology giant Siemens Nixdorf at the age of 28.
Within a year he was running the company’s UK computer business and gained important experience in computers and telecommunications, which has stood him in very good stead ever since.
Upon leaving Siemens, Jones founded Phones International Group in 1998 and now heads one of the UK’s largest privately owned companies, having witnessed rapid growth of the company’s various interests.
Six foot seven inch Jones appears on BBC Two programme Dragon’s Den and, in 2006, was given a contract with broadcaster ITV to become the “face” of business programming. He has also appeared as a judge on American Inventor for ABC in the United States and launched a television production company earlier this year.
Last summer, Jones and fellow dragon Theo Paphitis teamed up to purchase struggling gift experience firm Red Letter Days from former dragon Rachel Elnaugh. The pair turned it around and the company is now trading profitably again.
Worth an estimated £180 million, Jones now features on the Sunday Times Rich List and has invested in a number of start-ups as part of Dragon’s Den, including Square Mile International, which provides data services for marinas, and a magazine, Wonderland.He advises budding business leaders to “know your end goal and work towards it” and to make sure when pitching that they are clear and concise, and do not over exaggerate the opportunity being presented.
Jones’ extensive portfolio of assets also includes a number of property investments and he now lives in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, with his partner of ten years, Tara Capp, and their three children. The mogul also has two other children from his previous marriage to childhood sweetheart Caroline.
The self-styled ‘ultrapreneur’ claims that his motto is: “Believe in yourself, never give up and go about your business with passion drive and enthusiasm.”
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