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Working Lives UK: Entrepreneur

When Lawrence Tomlinson borrowed £500,000 to buy his parents' care-home business in 1984, he had no idea how he was going to pay back the loan.

Now, 27 years later, he is one of the wealthiest people in the UK.

Mr Tomlinson is estimated to be worth £498m (US$765m) and owns 26 care homes across the north of England. With more set to open next year, he has positioned his business in order to cater for the gradual ageing of the UK's population.

Although care for the elderly is still the foundation of his business empire, there's now a lot more to it. His LNT Group does everything from construction to chemicals, software to sports cars.

In 2005 he purchased car firm Ginetta Cars and set about building high-performance sports cars now recognised on the world stage. A keen driver, he races the cars himself but resents the suggestion that it is just a millionaire's plaything.

"It frustrates me that people think that, because every business must be profitable and we do make money on every car we sell," he says.

Though the Leeds-born entrepreneur has made a lot of money, he says it's his responsibility to his workers (all of whom are shareholders in the LNT Group) that motivates him.

He says there are some 5,000 families in the region which rely on him making the right decisions.