Deborah Meaden

Destined to be a successful entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden launched her first business straight out of college, before setting up one of the first ‘Stefanel’ fashion franchises in the UK.

Deborah went on to become Managing Director of Westar Holidays, overseeing its expansion from one to five holiday parks and leading a management buyout. Deborah retained a 23% share of Westar Holidays when it was sold to Phoenix Equity Partners in 2005, before its eventual sale for £83 million in August 2007.

In 2006 Deborah joined series 3 of BBC2’s ‘Dragons Den’ and has invested more than 2 million in businesses ranging from market research to online antiques valuations and life saving equipment for hospitals.

Deborah has judged the Observer Ethical Awards since 2008 and is an Ambassador for the WWF, Lend with Care, Hoof, The Roundhouse, fellow with the RSA and Patron for Tusk Trust.

In 2009 Deborah acquired Fox Brothers, a historic textile firm based in the South West which was on the verge of closure and in 2011 ‘The Merchant Fox’ was launched, an on line venture selling an exquisite collection of British-made goods with provenance.