Businesswoman Rachel Elnaugh was the founder of experience gift company Red Letter Days. She came to public prominence as an investor on the first two series of BBC 2's Dragons' Den, where she was the sole female in the panel of five investing entrepreneurs known as the "Dragons".
Rachel was working as an accountant with Arthur Andersen when she first got the idea for a business offering special gifts for special occasions. The resulting company, Red Letter Days offered experiences such as driving grand prix cars or flying in jet aircraft as gifts. The company spawned a whole industry that is estimated to be worth in excess of £200m now.
She won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002 and she was shortlisted for the 2001 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award along with Barbara Cassani and Jo Malone.
Red Letter Days ran into trouble in 2005 and was bought by Theo Pathitis and Peter Jones. Rachel wrote a book of her experiences and 'Business Nightmares' about the fine line between business success and failure, was published in 2008. It was not just her own story but the story of 20 other successful entrepreneurs who hit problems on their own journey.
The timing of the book launch could not have been more fortuitous as in September 2008 the global banking system crashed triggering many other business meltdowns. 'Business Nightmares' has since become THE handbook for business survival for many struggling entrepreneurs.
As Rachel point out, in every adversity lies the seeds of opportunity, and she was invited to speak at many enterprise events about her experiences. Rachel is now a recognised business mentor, author and professional speaker.
Her latest venture is SourceTV the new business operating platform for thought leaders, holistic professionals, alternative therapists and coaches.