My First Million: Richard Downs

MY FIRST MILLION Richard Downs who built Iglu into the UK's largest independent ski and cruise agency. Credit: David Parry/ FT
©David Parry/ FT

Tycoon qualified as a civil engineer, but set up a travel business

Picture by Jon Super for the Financial Times newspaper. Picture shows Michael Oliver founder of Oliver Valves engineering company with his collection of cars motorbikes, engines and planes, Knutsford, England, Friday March 11, 2011. (Photo/Jon Super)
©Jon Super

Michael Oliver: I started as an apprentice

Valve business started from scratch now turns over nearly £100m

Neville Williams.Birmingham.23/04/14. Financial Times Poundland founder Steve Smith pictured at home in Romsley, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
©Neville Williams

Poundland founder: I was brought up to work hard

If I can save customers money, I feel I am achieving something


My First Million: Rowan Gormley, wine retailer

Online wine retailer believes makers and drinkers are ripped off

James Freedman of Zone. For My First Million, FT Money.
©Charlie Bibby

My First Million: James Freedman, Zone

James Freedman realised that football clubs could be brands

My First Million: Ian Bell, cricketer

Ian Bell says cricketers are ‘well looked after’ financially

Vashi Dominguez for FT Money, my first million.
©Charlie Bibby

Vashi Dominguez, online jeweller

Diamond expert now has one of the top 100 businesses in Europe

David Moore, Restauranteur, photographed at Pied-a-Terre in London this morning.
©Charlie Bibby

My First Million: David Moore, restaurateur

David Moore’s restaurant business survived a catastrophic fire

MONEY FT-MY FIRST MILLION Designer and retailer Zeev Aram at the Aram Store on Drury Lane, Covent Garden. Credit: David Parry/ FT
©David Parry

My First Million: Zeev Aram, Aram stores

Designer furniture pioneer on value before price

Money FT, My First Million. Mark Neale founder of Mountain Warehouse. Credit: David Parry/ FT
©David Parry

Peaks and troughs at Mountain Warehouse

Retailer close to £90m turnover, says founder Mark Neale

My First Million: Derek Coates, Healthspan

Founder of Healthspan group made his first million in marketing

My First Million: Peter Usborne, publisher

Usborne Publishing founder sees his job as an extension of fatherhood

Travels with Trunki

Children’s luggage designer Rob Law

Happy endings after drama and crisis

Novelist Lucinda Riley did not expect to achieve success

Where success is in the bag

Julie Deane on the growth of Cambridge Satchel

Back from bankruptcy thanks to crisps

Potato farmer William Chase’s crop rotation

A question that changed my life

The first winner of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Brewing up a healthy fortune

Family feuds have not stopped AMT’s rise

Hairdresser’s brush with success

Shaun Pulfrey made a fortune from a simple idea

From Kangaroo Alley to the world

A military background gave Mike Gooley the skills to run a business


We interview people who have made a million pounds or are well on their way towards making a million and ask them how they have made it to where they are today. From the first jobs they did to the most expensive item they have ever bought we ask the questions you want to know the answers to.

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