Dragons’ Den Panellist Hilary Devey is the Toughest Businesswoman of All Time: Know Why

Dragons' Den Hilary Devey

Hilary Devey is an English entrepreneur, Television anchor, motivational speaker, and TV personality, famous for being a panellist on BBC Two’s reality show Dragons’ Den. The businesswoman also presented Channel 4’s programme, The Intern, in 2013. According to celebritynetworth.com, the net worth of Hilary was estimated to be £64m in 2021. 

Hilary Devey Honours and Awards

Dragons’ Den investor Hilary Devey is one of the most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs in the UK. Moreover, she received multiple awards for her achievements and inspirational work. In 2007, the entrepreneur received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and The Chamber Awards. She also attained The National Business Awards in 2007 for her outstanding entrepreneurship. Devey continued her journey to success and won the British Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award, Vitalise Business Women of the Year and Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. Additionally, in the same year, The Prowess Awards honoured the entrepreneur with the Most Inspirational Woman award. 

 In 2009, Hilary created history by becoming the first-ever woman to be honoured with The Sir Robert Lawrence Award. Notably, it is the most prestigious award of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport. In 2010, the businesswoman received the Personality of the Year Award in the International Freight Weekly Awards. Moreover, in 2013, Hilary received Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her incredible work in the transport sector and charity.

Apart from this, the tycoon has been awarded 12 other significant awards for inspiring women with her entrepreneurship skills and contribution to the transport industry. At present, Devey is an ambassador of the British Citizen Awards, a recognition programme to honour the people contributing to society. She has also obtained two honorary degrees from the University of Bolton and the University of Leicester.

Moreover, Hilary has featured in several TV programmes including The Business Inspector, Secret Millionaire, Dragons’ Den, Hilary Devey’s Women at the Top, The Intern, Running the Shop and Loose Women. The businesswoman has inspired several entrepreneurs with her journey.

From Struggling in Childhood to Appearing at Dragons’ Den: Hilary Devey’s Early Life

Hilary Devey hails from Bolton, Lancashire and, at the age of 7, she witnessed the bankruptcy of her father. At that time, Mr Devey started working at pubs and restaurants to earn a living for the family. Hilary started working from a very young age. After attending school, she used to help her father in pubs and restaurants.

Subsequently, at the age of 16, she left her studies to serve in the Women’s Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller before moving to London. At the age of 20, Hilary started working as a sales clerk at a distribution company. Hilary was also employed in the world’s leading logistics company, Tibbett and Brittenin, where is gained immense knowledge and experience in the logistics industry. 

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Hilary Devey’s Journey to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

After quitting Tibbett and Brittenin, Hilary Devey served as Sales Director at Scorpio Logistics, a company offering freight services. Subsequently, she worked as National Sales Manager at TNT Express for seven years, until Devey decided to start her own venture. During this phase, Hilary faced a lot of challenges. In 1995, she applied for a business loan at several banks, but the bankers disapproved of it for some reason. Consequently, she sold her apartment and car to invest in the business.

In 1996, Hilary became an inspiration for all the entrepreneurs by introducing Pall-Ex, Britain’s leading pallet shipping network. It was the third network in Britain to transport palletised goods. The entrepreneur started from scratch and grew the business into an international company with a total turnover of over £100m. Moreover, Pall-Ex delivers pallets in every region of the UK and offers scheduled services to almost 38 European nations. 

Hilary’s multi-million-pound business distributes almost 9000 pallets every day from its central hub in Leicestershire. Today, as the Chairman and CEO of Pall-Ex, the entrepreneur is passionately supporting other women in every job. In addition, she continuously contributes to several charities to support the people in need.

In 2012, the entrepreneur became the Vice President of Princess Royal Trust, an organization supporting carers. Moreover, she is a Patron of Fresh Start – New Beginnings and The Stroke Association. The entrepreneur has also introduced  ‘Penny a Pallet’, an innovative scheme donating funds to some specific charities on an ongoing basis.

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The magnate has also invested in a wide range of businesses. In addition, she is a motivational speaker who focuses on encouraging women, unprivileged individuals, and budding entrepreneurs. Hilary proves that there is nothing stronger than a hardworking, dedicated and determined woman.