Rachel Elnaugh is one of Britain's highest profile female entrepreneurs.
Having started her working life as an office junior, at the age of 24 she created the market leading experiences brand Red Letter Days on a shoestring budget from the front room of her home. Red Letter Days went on to generate over £100million in turnover in the 16 years that she ran it, and in doing so pioneered the UK's £250 million experiences sector. This earned her an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002, as well as being short listed for the 2001 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award and the Growing Business Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002.
Then, in early 2005, Rachel shot to fame as one of the original Dragons in BBCTV's BAFTA nominated cult business show Dragons' Den.
After the well-publicised crash of Red Letter Days in 2005, which followed the ill-advised expansion of the business three years earlier, Rachel stepped away from business life but is now involved in a number of new business projects.
Rachel is a prolific business speaker, having entertained audiences throughout the UK and beyond including Harvard Business School, the London Innovation Forum, and the Scottish Parliament's Festival of Politics.
Amongst her many assignments over the past year, she appeared as keynote speaker at the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC, chaired the recent Marketing Week two day Innovation Conference, hosted the StrategicRISK European Risk Management Awards 2007 and also appeared on stage with Anne Widdecombe and Oliver Letwin in a Dragons' Den style policy review panel at last year's Conservative Party Conference.
She was a member of the judging panel of the Grazia Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2006 as well as the Accountancy Age Awards 2006.
Rachel acts as mentor and consultant to a number of small businesses and launched her own unique Entrepreneurial Profiling system at the Business Start Up Show at London's Excel in April this year.
She has recently been commissioned to write a book on entrepreneurship which will be released by Crimson Publishing early next year.
Rachel is also a non-executive director of the Aberdeen based Enterprise North East Trust which handles the Business Gateway contract for Scottish Enterprise.
Rachel lives in Bakewell, Derbyshire with her husband Chris and four sons Mark, Paul, Eddie and Michael. She is expecting her fifth baby in October this year.
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