Rachel Elnaugh, Red Letter Days

Rachel Elnaugh founded her first business, Red Letter Days, aged 24 in 1989. By 2001, Elnaugh had grown the company to a £17.5m turnover, and she was a finalist in the Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year, which led to her joining the BBC's Dragons' Den.

In 2005, the company went into administration and was bought by fellow Dragons' Den judges Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis. Elnaugh now works as a venture capital adviser and business speaker, and has written Business Nightmares, a book about entrepreneurs' bad experiences.

In this video interview the successful female entrepreneur talks about the experience of being branded a "failed entrepreneur" by society and what she learnt from her time at Red Letter Days. She gives her view on why the company went from making a £1 million profit one year to making a £4.7 million loss the following year and gives expert advice to start-ups on how to avoid making the same mistakes, including how to present management reports.

Elnaugh speaks of her time on Dragons' Den, how the £1 million media value of the show offered priceless PR and why she thinks the show has lost some of its integrity. Rachel offers her opinion on the role of men and women in business and why it can be advantageous to be a woman entrepreneur. She also advises on the recession and the impact it can have on small businesses and carries a warning of the fast pace in which businesses can collapse.

  • Find out more about Rachel here

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