Theo Paphitis was born in Cyprus. His business empire spans retail, property, finance and consumer goods. Having left school at the age of 16 with no qualifications due to his dyslexia, he began work as a tea boy / filing clerk in a Lloyds of London brokerage.
Having realised very quickly that filing was not his forte, he left and took a job working for Watches of Switzerland where he discovered his passion for retail. After several years the opportunity arose for him to return to insurance in a more customer-facing role where he gained invaluable experience in finance and property.
Returning once more to his passion for retail he revived the fortunes of some well known high street brands; Ryman the Stationers, La Senza lingerie, Contessa lingerie, Partners the Stationers, Stationery Box and more recently home and garden retailer Robert Dyas. In addition, in the Spring of 2011 he launched what has now become the multi-award winning, global lingerie brand Boux Avenue.
Theo's other passion, sport, led to him having 8 marvellous years as Chairman of Millwall Football Club, achieving promotion to the Championship and FA Cup Final against Manchester United as well as qualifying for Europe. He was also elected an FA Councillor and a Director of the Football League.
Theo is also known for his many appearances on television, including 9 series on the BBC's Dragons' Den, Theo's Adventure Capitalists, Britain's Next Big Thing, Back to the Floor and most recently a regular slot on the One Show.
In 2010 Theo launched, from his kitchen table, Small Business Sunday or #SBS as it's known, on Twitter to help small businesses.
Theo is a Director of Comic Relief and along with his colleagues and companies is involved in substantial fundraising for the charity, which he continues to do alongside his own charity, The Theo Paphitis Charitable Trust.
Theo is Patron of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Shooting Star Chase Children's Hospice and the Skills Show which takes place annually with over 80,000 visitors each year.