Peter Jones

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"I remember sitting for hours in my father's office leather chair, dreaming of running a multi-million pound business." Peter Jones is proof that drive, passion and sheer determination to succeed no matter the odds is possible! Today, Peter has interests in a wide range of companies and a variety of markets which collectively generate sales of more than 250 million pounds and employ more than 1,000 people. 

Peter first got a sense of his business acumen and strong head for figures while still at school, aged 16. After completing the Lawn Tennis Association's coaching exams, he set up his own tennis coaching school. This allowed him to combine the two subjects he loved the most: sport and economics.

During Peter's twenties, he ran a thriving computer business which allowed me to own a nice house, a BMW, a Porsche, and plenty of money to spend. However, through a combination of circumstances, personal mistakes and learning the hard way when a few major customers went out of business themselves, he lost the business. Later, he set up a computer support business and then a restaurant, the latter which ended up being a fun if costly mistake. At 28, he decided to join a large corporate because he was broke; within 12 months, he was running the business in the UK.

Peter founded Phones International Group in 1998, providing mobile cellular solutions to a broad range of clients.  Data Select is a major factor in the Group's growth, accounting for 14 million pounds of sales in the first year of trading and 44 million pounds by the end of the second. Other related companies have also grown within the group, including Generation Telecom, which was sold to one of the world's largest companies for millions of pounds within two years of starting up. Phones International Group has been recognised as one of the most successful UK businesses. The Times/Ernst & Young recognized Peter as Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. The group was identified as the 13th fastest growing business.

Today, Peter has personally invested in more than 25 businesses spanning publishing, new media, television, entertainment, food products, the environment and product design in a varied and growing portfolio, which nurtures and develops emerging entrepreneurs and innovative products and services in the UK and internationally.

Peter has also developed a public role focussed on nurturing Britain's entrepreneurial talent, especially working to help young people and young enterprise flourish in the UK. His National Enterprise Academy opened its doors to students aged 16 to 19 in Amersham in Bucks and Manchester in the North West and has plans for scaling it up so that it rolls-out nationwide. Peter is also Chairman of Enterprise UK, which implements campaigns to encourage enterprise among a wide range of different people across the country.

The Peter Jones Foundation was established in 2005 in order to provide a means of support & funding for children in the UK due to my belief that all children deserve a brighter future. Whether it is because they fall outside of the huge network of support, charitable & otherwise, or whether they would benefit from an opportunity to become enterprising in order to change their lives forever, the foundation aims to support them with passion & dedication.

Peter began his TV life 2005 when he was invited to join the panel of the hit show Dragons' Den. In 2006, he worked with Simon Cowell to create the TV show The American Inventor and he also signed a deal with ITV to produce and star in business show Tycoon. From this show Peter has added Be-Eco, Hair Rehab and the winner Bladez Toyz to his investment portfolio of companies. His book Tycoon was published in 2007.

In January 2009, Peter was delighted and very proud to be made a CBE in the New Year's Honours list.

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