Popular Posts

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dragon's Den

This is a post which talks about one of the most feared Dragons from BBC's Dragon Dens soap opera. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/ . This specific dragon is Deborah Meaden, she launched her own glass and ceramics export company straight out of business college and has since made her name in the holiday park business and she drives a smart car, fast.

Fearing the Dragon lady
Who’s the person you’d least like to go to, cup in hand, when trying to raise cash to start your business?
Is it your parents, who are still annoyed you stepped off the corporate ladder, and ‘safe’ career path to pursue some harebrained business idea? Perhaps a well-off mate who clearly has the money, but who’ll make you fell indebted long after the last repayment has been made.
Apparently not. According to a survey by Business Link, the person budding entrepreneurs would be most scared of pitching their business to is Dragons’ Den panellist Deborah Meaden.
The poll questioned 720 aspiring entrepreneurs, and Meaden received a fifth of all the votes. This compared to a mere 10% for Bannatyne, Jones and Paphitis.
So what is it that’s so frightening about Meaden? Why does she strike fear into the very hearts of all you otherwise plucky and daring entrepreneurs? Afsana Shukur, head of diversity and equality at Business Link London, sheds some light on the matter:
“There is no denying that Deborah's passion and direct approach has helped make her the successful business woman she is today. It’s unfortunate though, that many successful businesswomen tend to be viewed as domineering and aggressive.”
Is Meaden any more domineering and aggressive than the other Dragons? Or is it just that those qualities are not well received in a woman, therefore making her an unappealing choice.
Shukur says that the UK lacks female entrepreneur role models that buck this traditional stereotype, but I disagree. What was Dragon-like about the late Anita Roddick, cited by so many as truly inspirational? Sahar Hashimi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, is another example of a successful entrepreneur that made it without asserting that aggressive quality apparently so hated in women.
There are all kinds of female entrepreneurial role models out there, some aggressive and some not. But in what is supposedly a gender equal society, why are we still having this conversation. Alan Sugar is undoubtedly aggressive and domineering but strangely enough, he’s nowhere near the top of the poll.



No comments: