By Claire West

The man who helped found one of Europe’s leading discount stores has been given an honorary degree by the University of Wolverhampton.

David Dodd, who co-founded the Poundland chain, was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit and contribution to the economy of the region.

David said: "I have been fortunate enough to have received several industry awards, but none of them have given me as much satisfaction as this Honorary Degree.

“To be acknowledged by The University of Wolverhampton, in my home town, is truly an honour.

"I'd like to thank The University of Wolverhampton for this wonderful honour, and say how humbled I am by the amazing achievements of my fellow Honorary Graduates both past and present.

“Wolverhampton has been good to me, and I hope that over time, in some way, I am able to reciprocate.

"It's great that we take the time out to celebrate success and the wonderful contribution made to the area by so many people".

Born in Blakenhall in 1960, David left school after completing the first term of A-level studies to start a career in retail. By 18 years-old he was managing his own store, but keen to experiment with his own ideas, David moved into market trading where he spent two years working on Bilston and Willenhall markets.

In 1982, David took his trading experience into a buying and selling role with local wholesaler, Hootys Supplies, before moving into importing and gaining comprehensive knowledge of trading with manufacturers all over the world.

With a complete experience of the supply chain, David returned to retailing and in 1990, became co-founder of Poundland, the national chain famous for selling all of its products for £1. After leading a management buyout of Poundland in 2002, David went on to double the size of the business and treble the profits before retiring from the business in 2007.

David now spends his time assisting start-up and SME businesses and is an investor in affordable housing projects.

He received the honorary award at a graduation ceremony at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Wednesday 12 September 2012.