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Dragons' Den's Emma Grede rescues entrepreneur from Deborah Meaden's interrogation

The businesswoman behind SKIMS stepped in when Deborah Meaden was grilling an entrepreneur over their accounts.

Dragons' Den S21,08-02-2024,6,6,Emma Grede, Deborah Meaden,BBC Studios,Grab
Emma Grede interrupted fellow Dragon Deborah Meaden as she dug into an entrepreneur's accounts. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Dragons' Den guest investor Emma Grede rescued an entrepreneur from being grilled by Deborah Meaden over their accounts.

Grede - who is a business partner of the Kardashians in her companies Good American and SKIMS - admitted she was nervous about appearing as the newest guest star on the BBC One series. But she certainly didn't show it during her debut in the den. When one businesswoman was struggling to explain her business figures to veteran Dragon Meaden, Grede stepped in and took over.

What, how, and why?

Dragons' Den Emma Grede
Dragons' Den guest investor Emma Grede helped out an entrepreneur who struggled with their business figures. (BBC)

Grede, 41, was interested in Titi Bello's business ORI - a range of afro haircare products - from the off, as were several of the other Dragons. But Meaden, 64, dug deep into Bello's figures and questioned some anomalies in her accounts.

The entrepreneur became flustered and admitted she just did not know what Meaden was asking. Meaden said: "Can I just talk margins with you because margins matter in a business. You were running about 50ish percent margin for a couple if years, then you had quite a big increase in your margin - so what happened there? Why did your margin increase?" Bello looked confused and mumbled: "Um, heavily invested in products..." Meaden replied: "That's not what happened there. Your margin is the cost of your product versus what you're selling the product for. " Bello shook her head, saying, "Sorry, I've just..." Meaden laughed: "Have you gone blank? It's alright, take a minute." Bello said: "I think you've picked me up on something that I..."

Grede quickly stepped in and slowly talked her through it, asking: "Are the 2022 numbers correct? £52k worth of sales, gross profit was 40? Are those numbers correct? So what Deborah's asking when she's asking the margin question is there's something in your cost of goods that went down, so that you could make that much money. Was there anything that happened there? Did you start to get the cost of the product down?"

Bello replied: "The cost of two products went down because we moved to a supplier." Grede told her: "So that's exactly it there. That's what she's asking you."

She went on: "I get it - I'm super, super dyslexic, I really find it tough to get my head around the numbers. So I understand, perhaps not being the financial whizz. I love the way Deborah sits there banging out the numbers. I have to do a whole calculation on my page like I was in Primary school. So I get it. But you do need to have a really firm grip of those numbers. And you need to have it from the get go."

Grede then told Meaden: "Go on Deborah." Meaden shook her head, saying: "No, I'm done."

Grede ended up making 45-year-old Bello an offer of £60k for 25 percent of her business and securing an investment in her product. Grede told her: "My view of a good entrepreneur is learning fast, pivoting even faster. Are you willing to take the advice from this group of people here, and not look to [start] the app and just focus on what it is you do really well." As the deal was made they both screamed and jumped up and down.

What else happened on Dragon's Den?

Dragons' Den  Deborah Meaden
Dragons' Den's Deborah Meaden said using an asthma inhaler doesn't make anyone wet and weedy. (BBC)

Meaden shot down the stigma of carrying an asthma inhaler, insisting it should not be associated with weakness.

She was responding to Will's pitch, whose business The Inhaler Tailor makes bright, colourful patterned cases for asthma inhalers. The businessman said he felt there was a stigma in film and television that children using a blue asthma inhaler were often portrayed as weak and weedy.

Meaden revealed she had carried an asthma inhaler as a child. She said: "I actually had childhood asthma, carried one of these, never used it. Carrying it was enough for me to stop panicking and get control of it. But I know I understand the issue. It's interesting I never used it in front of other people, maybe I didn't want to."

Meaden then declared: "Can I just say you and I stand here as an example of people on television who are not wet and weedy."

Dragons' Den  Sara Davies and Emma Grede
Dragons' Den's Sara Davies told Emma Grede not to worry when an entrepreneur left without an offer. (BBC)

But while all the Dragons were impressed with his hand-made vegan inhaler cases, they could not see themselves working as part of the business and so they all declared themselves out. Grede said: "It's gutting when they walk out with nothing, no? I feel bad." But Meaden and Sara Davies told reassured her: "He's fine."

Dragon's Den airs on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday.

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