The Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and author Duncan Bannatyne has had quite a life, and found both fame and fortune to the tune of being estimated to be worth in net $175 million.

The areas in which Bannatyne has made money are quite vast: everything from hotels, gyms, spas, media ventures, TV work, stage schools, property and transport. His fame, however, was found as a result of BBC’s hugely popular (and often very funny) series Dragons’ Den.

On top of all this business and broadcasting success, Bannatyne has authored numerous books to share with the wider public his (clearly) above-average business acumen. These books include titles such as: Anyone Can do It, and 43 Mistakes Businesses Make. He surely knows a thing or two about that — as no business is plain-sailing.

So where did the Scot’s massive success start? Bannatyne grew up in Glasgow in a large house that was acting as a sort of commune: shared with five other families. The tenacity of Ducan’s work-ethic were spotted early on.

A nice little anecdote that paints the story is when the young Scot was refused a paperbound at his locak newsagents. The paper shop owner said to Ducan that he could have a job provided he brought in 100 new customers. Of course, that’s precisely what he did — which could go some way to explain his attitude that resulted in his gaining of a massive fortune.

He was not a particularly ‘stand-out’ student either, but he did apparently show a good capacity for maths. Probably just as well with the figures he’s gone on to deal with.

But success didn’t come easy. Bannatyne spent much of his twenties as a factotum, doing everything from repairing tractors to training to be a HGV driver, ice cream seller, you name it, this man has probably done it. Pretty mad fact, but he says he didn’t have a bank account until he was 30 years old. He certainly has one now.

Self-made people are alway inspirational — and the combination of work-class realism and business cunning that Bannatyne has went down well with BBC viewers of Dragons’ Den. He invested in over 30 businesses during his time on the show.

One of his inspirational quotes that could appeal to anyone below the age of 30, is when he said: ‘Starting a business is, I believe, the best option for people whose skills don’t fit the job marketplace.’

His real success came Bannatyne after he and his wife moved to Stockton-on-Tees, and Ducan bought an ice cream van for £450. After making some decent cash at that, he sold up and bought a care home which he went on to sell for £26 million.

He is also a keen philanthropist, which is often a popular activity for people who are worth a fortune. He has done some great charity work in countries such as Romania, working with orphans with HIV and AIDS.

In 2015, Bannatyne took part in the fifteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. His fee for taking part in the show was donated to the Operation Smile charity.
‘The more money you have, the more power you have to create change.’ Did we mention that he’s a pretty good bloke, too.