Deborah is a British multi-millionairess and well-known personality after appearing in the BBC Two programme Dragon’s Den. She launched her own glass and ceramics export company straight out of business college. She then went on to set up one of the first Stefanel fashion franchises in the UK. She went to the Godolphin School, Salisbury, for a brief period and then to Trowbridge High School.
Deborah Meaden and a partner bought one of the first Stefanel textile franchises in the UK, which was based in the West Country; she sold out two years later to her partner for £10,000. She then had several successful leisure and retail businesses including a spell operating a prize bingo at Butlins in Minehead.
In 2009, Meaden acquired Fox Brothers, a West Country textile mill established in 1772 and still based in Wellington, Somerset along with fellow shareholder, Douglas Cordeaux, former design director at Pepe Jeans London.
With several successful businesses in the leisure and retail sector under her belt, Deborah became Managing Director of her family’s holiday park business Weststar Holidays, acquired the major shareholding in a management buyout and later sold the company in a deal worth £33 million whilst retaining a 23% stake.
Deborah first appeared on Dragons’ Den in Series 3 and has been a huge success ever since.
In 2009 she also released her book Common Sense Rules: What You Really Need to Know About Business.
Meaden also appeared as a mentor in the BBC2 series The Speaker in April 2009 offering her advice on speaking with conviction.
In January 2010, Meaden appeared alongside her Dragon’s Den co-stars Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones in the fifth episode of the sixth series of Hustle.
Also in 2010, Deborah Meaden was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Exeter Business School. She also received an honorary degree from Staffordshire University in the same month.
Meaden is a member of the Council of Ambassadors of the World Wildlife Fund.
Deborah Meaden is a great keynote and conference speaker on topics such as business leadership, and entrepreneurship.