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Peter Jones

Peter Jones

The feeling of power gained from sitting in his dad's office chair as a boy sparked Peter Jones's motivation to make big money.

Peter's parents saved up to send him to private school, but he found it difficult to adapt to the change and returned to state school for the rest of his education.

Peter's entrepreneurial journey started early when, at the age of 16, he founded a tennis academy. His career then took a technical curve, as he set up first a computer business and later a computer support company.

Peter then experienced a run of bad luck in the form of a "fun if costly mistake" investing in a restaurant and losing his house and cars when his computer business closed.

At the age of 28, Peter joined corporate giant Siemens Nixdorf and ran its computer business in the UK.

In 1998 he founded Phones International Group, a telecommunications firm that now generates revenues in excess of £200m.

The Peter Jones Foundation was established in 2005 to offer funding and support to underprivileged children in the UK.

In 2008 a national newspaper challenged Peter to sit an A-level Business Studies exam - he passed with flying colours, gaining an A grade without formally studying the course material.

In 2009 Peter Jones founded the National Enterprise Academy (NEA) as a way to improve entrepreneurial capabilities within the UK. The NEA is a centre of excellence for enterprise and entrepreneurship and has three campuses in Buckinghamshire, Manchester and Sheffield.

Peter was awarded a CBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to business, entrepreneurship and young people.

Along with Duncan, Peter has been an ever present Dragon since the programme started in 2005.

Q&A

Name: Peter Jones.

Born: March 1966.

Family: Tara and children Annabelle, William, Natalia, Isabella, Tallulah.

Pets: A dog called Holly.

Describe yourself: Energetic, fun, driven, honest and caring.

Estimated wealth: In the hundreds of millions.

Most outrageous purchase: A stay on Necker Island for my friends and family.

One thing I always spend extra on: I don't scrimp on cars.

The one thing I look for in employees: Initiative and loyalty.

Best job I've had: Being a dad.

Worst job I've had: I haven't had one.

Favourite film/play: All the James Bond films.

Favourite holiday destination: Portugal.

Favourite sport, team and player: Tennis and Annabel Croft.

Favourite pitch: Levi Roots's Reggae Reggae Sauce.

Best investment: Most of mine have done well.

The one that got away: They never get away.

I'd never invest in: Dishonest or scruffy people.

Best advice you've been given: There's no such thing as failure, only feedback.

People you admire: Nelson Mandela.

Your motto would be: For a dream to become reality, make it real enough to believe in.

Peter's business advice

For impressing in an interview / pitch

Be truthful, spell out your achievements but don't make up qualifications and previous jobs. If you are honest you will establish a reputation for reliability with your boss and colleagues.

For running your own business

Be results orientated - this will help you to be more motivated, and leave you with a sense of achievement when you reach your goals. Think carefully about what you want, and then focus on how to get there. You'd be amazed at how many people don't do this.

For surviving the recession

Protect your job by making your boss aware of how committed you are.

For getting your product to market

Create a strong brand identity.

For winning investment

Passion and commitment are vital ingredients of a winning pitch.

For making millions

Always be confident, believe in what you are doing and don't waver. You won't persuade other people to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.

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