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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

The Journey of Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne/ Image courtesy of The Sun

Born in February 1949, Duncan Walker Bannatyne is now a philanthropist, author, and Scottish entrepreneur.

Duncan’s business interests include spas, TV, property, media hotels, and health clubs. He is most famous for his appearance as a business angel on the BBC program Dragons’ Den. He was appointed an OBE for his contribution to charity. He has written seven books.

He currently lives in Portugal. Glasgow Caledonian University awarded Bannatyne an honorary doctorate of science on 5 July 2006 for services to business and charity. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration from Teesside University on 6 February 2009.

Duncan’s early life

Duncan Bannatyne was born in Dalmuir, west of Glasgow. Bill, his father, served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in World War II and worked on the Burma Railway after being captured by the Japanese following the Fall of Singapore. Later on, he worked in the foundry at the Clydebank Singer plant.

In fact, as a child, Duncan lived in one room with his parents and siblings in a large house shared with six other families. Furthermore, Duncan Bannatyne attended Dalmuir Primary School, where he displayed a talent for arithmetic and won a place at Clydebank High School after passing the Eleven plus exam. 

Duncan’s early life

Duncan Bannatyne was born in Dalmuir, west of Glasgow. Bill, his father, served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in World War II and worked on the Burma Railway after being captured by the Japanese following the Fall of Singapore. Later on, he worked in the foundry at the Clydebank Singer plant.

In fact, as a child, Duncan lived in one room with his parents and siblings in a large house shared with six other families. Furthermore, Duncan Bannatyne attended Dalmuir Primary School, where he displayed a talent for arithmetic and won a place at Clydebank High School after passing the Eleven plus exam.

Later on, he joined the Royal Navy. He served in the Navy for several years before receiving a dishonorable discharge after throwing an officer off a boat landing jetty in Scotland.

Duncan stated in his autobiography that this was actually in part a reaction to this officer’s abuse of his authority, a dare by his shipmates, and in part a way of getting out of the Navy, with which he had become disillusioned.

Moreover so, Bannatyne was nineteen when this happened. After the incident, he had to serve nine months in Colchester military detention center. He later spent ten days in Glasgow’s Barlinnie prison for not paying a 10 pounds fine concerning a charge of breach of the peace and resisting arrest.

Duncan’s career

Bannatyne spent his twenties moving from one job to another. Upon returning to Clydebank, he trained as an agricultural vehicle fitter and then traveled around the country repairing tractors. Finally, he lived on the island of Jersey for almost four years, from 1974. Over here, he gained an HGV license and earned a living through several jobs like hospital porter, ice-cream seller, and desk chair attendant.

Moreover, Duncan Bannatyne surfed and partied. This is how he met his first wife on the island. With Jersey’s difficult business climate for outsiders, at age 29, Bannatyne and his wife moved to Stockton-on-Tees in North East England. Duncan stated that he was poor and did not have a bank account until the age of 30.

The beginning of Duncan’s career

His business career began almost immediately after moving to Stockton-on-Tees with an ice cream van he purchased for $450. Later on, he expanded by buying more vans during the period of the Glasgow Ice cream wars.

He sold the business for £28,000.  Then in 1997, he founded a nursing home business called Quality Care Homes, which he then sold for £26 million. Furthermore, he also founded a children’s nursery chain called Just Learning for £12 million.

Bannatyne has since expanded into health clubs, with the Bannatyne Health Club & Spa chain to his name and hotels and property. He acquired 26 health clubs from Hilton Hotels in August 2006 for £92 million. The Bannatyne Group is now the largest independent chain of health clubs in the United Kingdom with 71 sites. The business currently (June 2018) has 46 spas with plans for more, including at its first Northern Ireland-based health club in Belfast, and it operates four hotels.

By 2018, Duncan’s wealth was estimated at £280 million by the Sunday Times Rich List.

Duncan Bannatyne has written seven books: Anyone Can Do It, Wake Up and Change Your Life, How to be Smart With Your Money, How to be Smart With Your Time, 43 Mistakes Businesses Make, 37 Questions Everyone in Business Needs to Answer, and Riding The Storm.

Duncan at the Television industry

From 2005 until 2015, Duncan was a Dragon on the BBC television series known as Dragon’s Den. At that time, he has invested in 36 businesses. By 2015, he took part in the 15th series of “I’m a celebrity… get me out of here!”

In 2020, Bannatyne took part in a BBC series called The Real Marigold Hotel. He joined other celebrities like Barbara Dickson, Paul Elliot, John Altman, Henry Blofeld, Susie Blake, and Britt Ekland.

Duncan’s Corporate social responsibility

Bannatyne received his OBE partly in recognition for his work with charities such as Mary’s meals. He has funded several projects over ten years in Romania, including Casa Bannatyne in Târgu-Mureş, a hospice for orphans with HIV and AIDS in which he invested £80,000. He established the Bannatyne Charitable Trust in March 2008.

Moreover, on 19 May 2008, Duncan Bannatyne added his support to the Geared for Giving Campaign launch at the House of Commons to encourage UK business leaders to set up and promote a Workplace Giving scheme to benefit UK registered charities with tax-effective donations through employees’ pay.

He then helped promote Clydesdale Bank’s and Yorkshire Bank’s efforts to promote the program through ATM (Automated Teller Machine) rolls. “They are really going for it, over 20 per cent of their employees are giving money through this system”, Bannatyne says.

On 29 August 2008, Duncan Bannatyne appeared on the television program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, raising £20,000 for charity NCH.

Later on, Duncan became President of the charity No Smoking Day in October 2008. The charity runs the annual health awareness campaign – helping people who want to stop smoking. This followed on from him making a documentary about the ethics of British American Tobacco.

Read more on: How J.K Rowling Made Her Name in the Business World.

 

 


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