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Rachel Elnaugh

Series: 1-2

Notable investments:

  • Grails
  • Elizabeth Galton Ltd

Rachel Elnaugh found her entrepreneurial feet at the age of 24, creating Red Letter Days for which she won an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002.

Being on the awards circuit meant she got acknowledged by the producers on Dragons’ Den. She was one of the original Dragons – and the only female investor for the first two series.  

Rachel backed five businesses in her time, but only two went through after the show: tailor-made suit company, Grails, and custom-made jewellery business, Elizabeth Galton Ltd. They went under in 2006 and 2008 respectively.  

Rachel left Dragon’s Den after her business, Red Letter Days, collapsed. Reports suggest that she was encouraged to leave by the BBC for being a ‘failed’ business owner. There were also alleged arguments with Jones, Paphitis and Bannatyne. Theo and Peter bought Red Letter Days out of administration in 2005.

These days, Rachel is a professional speaker and mentor. She co-created SourceTV in 2016, showing content from thought leaders and teachers. Rachel also wrote Business Nightmares: Hitting Rock Bottom and Coming Out on Top in 2008 and Prosperity in 2016.

See also: Alpha female Rachel Elnaugh

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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