Deborah Meaden is a British entrepreneur and television personality best known for starring as one of the "Dragons" on the reality television series Dragons' Den, since 2006.
From a very early age Meaden knew she wanted her own business. Having left school after O-levels, Deborah studied at business college. Following graduation she worked as a sales room model in a fashion house before moving to Italy.
At the age of 19, with very little capital she launched her own glass and ceramics import company supplying upmarket stores like Harvey Nichols.
Her next business venture was starting up one of the first Stefanels franchises in the country, but she soon became dissatisfied with the franchise model and sold her share to her business partner.
Several successful businesses in the leisure and retail sector later, she joined her family's business. Starting out on the shop floor, Deborah eventually became Managing Director of Weststar Holidays. In 1999 she went on to acquire the major shareholding in a management buyout, later selling the company in a deal worth £33m whilst retaining a 23% stake.
Deborah still retained an active role at Weststar, but began to devote more time to finding good investment opportunities, including those she found on Dragons' Den, which she joined in 2006 at the start of Season 3.
In August 2007, she sold her remaining stake when Weststar Holidays was sold for £83m. She is now a full time investor with a portfolio which ranges from fashion to software, waste management to market research.
Deborah supports a number of charities and is chair of the Childline 'Child's Voice Appeal South West'. She is also involved with environmental charities and initiatives and has recently accepted a role as an Ambassador for the WWF.
Deborah lives in Somerset with husband Paul and a variety of pets.