Former BBCTV Dragons’ Den ‘Dragon’, Rachel Elnaugh is the British entrepreneur who created the £multi-million market leading ‘Red Letter Days’ experience brand. She is now a business speaker, published author and award winning business mentor and is CEO of the digital publishing and marketing platform for evolutionaries www.source.tv
Rachel is based in Bakewell, Derbyshire
Rachel Elnaugh is the award winning entrepreneur whose first business was the market leading ‘experiences’ brand Red Letter Days, which she created at the age of 24 and grew from nothing, on a shoestring budget, into a £multi-million turnover household name, which at its height was making £1million profit a year. In 2000 Red Letter Days was acknowledged by Mintel to be the creator of the new UK experiences industry – by then worth £250million per annum.
This won Rachel 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, Jo Malone, Sly Bailey and Chey Garland.
As a result of being on the Awards circuit, in 2002 she was invited by the BBC to be part of a new business show they were formulating called ‘Dragons’ Den‘.
The pilot for Dragons’ Den was filmed in 2003 and the first series was commissioned and filmed in Autumn 2004, airing for the first time in January 2005. Dragons’ Den was a huge success, shortlisted for a BAFTA and very quickly syndicated worldwide. The second series was filmed in May/June/July 2005 and aired in November/December 2005.
However, behind the scenes, Rachel had been struggling to bring Red Letter Days back on track after a disastrous over-expansion in 2002, and despite the business being back in profit and having £3.3million cash at bank it was forced into administration by Barclays Bank on 1 August 2005.
Thanks to her high profile appearance on Dragons’ Den, the crash of Red Letter Days attracted huge media exposure, the story appearing on all the key news channels and in every mainstream newspaper. (The Red Letter Days business was bought out of administration by Rachel’s fellow Dragons Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis and continues to trade.)
However, to paraphrase Napoleon Hill, in every adversity lies the seeds of opportunity and Rachel was invited to speak at many enterprise events about her experiences. She was also commissioned to write a book about the fine line between success and failure in her book ‘Business Nightmares‘ – 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 in May 2008 could not have been more fortuitous as in September 2008 the global banking system crashed triggering the current recession and many other business meltdowns. ’Business Nightmares‘ has since become THE handbook for business survival for many struggling entrepreneurs.
Rachel was invited to speak at many enterprise events about her experiences and is now an accomplished professional speaker with experience of speaking at over three hundred events including Harvard University, TEDx, The Scottish Parliament, The Oxford Union Debating Society, The British Library, The National Library Singapore, the Opening of Global Entrepreneurship week in Holland (with Nick Clegg) and the Conservative Party Conference.
Rachel was quickly invited by many entrepreneurs to help them with their own business and she became a mentor to many, creating along the way a series of low cost training programmes and workshops designed to help entrepreneurs struggling to make their business work.
Her work in helping others lead to a fascination with empowerment and the power of the mind, including fourth dimensional energy principles including quantum physics, metaphysics and the Law of Attraction. In 2010 she travelled to Kuala Lumpur to train in feng shui with leading international feng shui author Grand Master Lillian Too.
Rachel combined her business and marketing knowledge, her experience of going through a financial wipeout together with her knowledge of metaphysics into her acclaimed 2012 low cost video mentoring programme Business Alchemy.
In 2011 Rachel co-created the pilot for a new transformational TV brand through which she met Stephen Russell aka Barefoot Doctor. As a result she became Barefoot Doctor’s business manager, publishing his book The Message which was launched at Sadlers Wells in February 2012. Their joint Glastonbury radio show Barefoot and the Dragon topped the ratings during the months it was aired.
Rachel also helped breathe life into The Big Om sound healing concept which took place in Brighton on 12.12.12, triggering a sister London event 12.12.12 One World co-produced by Rachel and Hay House ‘Money Magnet’ author Marie Claire Carlyle.
The event (which was also Rachel’s birthday) was a huge success, attracting an audience of over 1,500 people and live-streamed globally.
This 12.12.12 event inspired Rachel’s current business venture SourceTV which she co-created in 2013 with Hollywood based TV marketing expert Kevin Stein.
Rachel’s book PROSPERITY was published on 23 April 2016, written during her time living at the £1.75m Grade II listed mansion in Bakewell where she hosted numerous events, retreats and workshops .
Rachel continues to live in Bakewell, Derbyshire and is mother to five sons Mark, Paul, Eddie, Michael and Jack.
These (non-photoshopped) portraits were styled and shot by the amazingly talented Oscar Nominated Make-Up Artist and Photographer Amber Sibley www.ambersibley.com
The colourful Lakshmi cashmere and silk shawl is from the Mudra Collection by Rita Hraiz, Glastonbury https://mudracollection.com/collections/cashmere-shawls-wraps