Dragons Den entrepreneurs – kids to inherit or not

With the popular entrepreneurial TV show Dragon’s Den back on the BBC this month, the Mirror looked at what will happen to the Dragons’ money when they die.

The so-called Dragons—those the show’s prospective entrepreneurs must appeal to for investment—have networths of millions between them, and some of them have made it very clear that their children can’t expect a handout and will need to work hard for their own cash.

Peter Jones is the only original Dragon left in the Den and has an estimated net worth of £500 million. He was only 16 when he started his business and has two children from his marriage to his ex-wife and three teenage daughters with his long-term partner.

Pocket money based on incentives

He told the Radio Times he has given out pocket money based on incentives, such as getting his children to tidy their rooms, and that in future he won’t be buying them houses although he will consider contributions and funding charitable work.

He says he won’t give them large chunks of cash either but has set up an arrangement where he match funds what they earn, and they will get double that income for the rest of their lives.

Scottish businessman Duncan Bannatyne made his £280 million through a chain of upmarket gyms and has six children from his two marriages. He said in 2009 he will not be leaving a penny to any of his children as he thinks inheriting a large sum “would not be good for them” and that the money from his estate will go to charity.

Allowance stopped

At one point, he stopped one of his daughter’s monthly £400 allowance when he discovered she had been smoking and did not restart it until she convinced him she was no longer doing so.

However, in a later interview in 2013, Bannatyne did say he wanted to build up his company following an expensive divorce from his second wife to ensure his children would not be left penniless.

Bannatyne has since remarried.

One-time Dragon Theo Paphitis was famous for his catchphrase on the programme where he asked the budding entrepreneurs, “Why should I spend my children’s inheritance on that?”

Receiving an inheritance

The Greek-Cypriot multi-millionaire is through to be worth £290 million and has five children. While he is okay for them live a certain lifestyle and receive an inheritance, he also has the Paphitis Charitable Trust, which distributes all the fees from his TV appearances, speeches and his book to children’s charities.

Finally, Sara Davies, the youngest of the Dragons, is rich thanks to the crafting company she started from her bedroom at university. She has two sons and she and her husband do not always agree on how to raise their kids, as she wants her boys to have the same experiences she did, while her husband is keen to give them some of the things they did not have.

She said her children do have to work for their pocket money, but they receive more than she did because they are good at negotiation.

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