Ex-Dragon puts property on market to make business comeback

Ex-Dragon puts property on market to make business comeback


A former dragon who was booted off the Dragons’ Den five years ago when her company went into administration has made her business comeback, and is selling up to move closer to London.

Entrepreneur Rachel Elnaugh watched her millionaire status fall to the wayside in 2003 when her £25 million business, Red Letter Days, collapsed spectacularly.

The business worked by providing vouchers to novelty and often unusual days out, but accounts filed in 2003 showed the firm had made a £4.8 million loss and her bank, Barclays, worried it wouldn’t be able to redeem all the outstanding unpaid vouchers.

As a result Barclays put £3 million in an untouchable bond and when a winding up order was issued by a supplier, Rachel could do nothing but watch the business she had started from scratch at 23 years old collapse.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Rachel then watched fellow dragons Peter Jones and Theo Phaphitis step in buy the remaining assets. 

But now it seems the entrepreneur has turned her misfortune on its head by becoming a motivational coach with a bestselling book about her business failure under her belt. And now she is ready to move closer to London and take advantage of the business opportunities there.

Rachel is putting her £1 million home in Bakewell on the market and has her hopes set on somewhere within the London commuter belt. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she explained how when she originally moved to Bakewell it was a much-needed break away from The Big Smoke.

“When I first moved here I breathed a sigh of relief,” she said.

“I spent the previous six months working non-stop to try and save my business and when the family came it was tough, but at least I could take time off again to be with my family.

“Over the past two years I have been spending an average of two nights a week in London. It’s a two-and-a-half hour journey and Chris also commutes sometimes so we began to question if it made sense living up here.”

Rachel’s property is a five-bedroom, multi-level house built on the top of a hill with ‘stunning’ views. However it has been on the market for a year and still hasn’t sold. What’s more, Rachel has put it on the market for the same price she originally bought it for in 2007 and refuses to come down in price.

Having originally bought the property for £300,000 off its asking price Rachel believes it’s worth what she paid three years ago.

Rachel and her husband Chris Little have other investment properties too; a two-bedroom apartment, bought by Chris for £149,00 that he rents at £750 a month and a £390,000 holiday cottage let by Rachel for up to £1,200 a week during the summer.

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