Entrepreneur Noelle O\'Connor

Entrepreneur Noelle O'ConnorIMAGE: Tan Organic

Noelle O’Connor, founder of the hugely successful Tan Organic brand, is going back into the fray once more.

Dragons’ Den, a show in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors, is notoriously tough. However, a great pitch in the Den can result in a hugely successful business.

That’s exactly what happened for Irish woman Noelle O’Connor in 2010. The recession had a catastrophic impact on her chain of beauty salons and she had to make the decision to close them. While exploring new avenues, she came up with the idea of creating an organic tanning brand. She took her business idea to RTE’s Dragon’s Den and secured investment from Dragon Gavin Duffy to develop the Tan Organic brand. It hit sales of €1 million within three months, with sales doubling every year.

Noelle went on to buy out Gavin Duffy of the brand, but credits him and the show for kick starting Tan Organic’s success.

Now seeking new mentorship and investment to take her plans further, she’s stepped in front of the dragons on the UK version of the show. Her earlier experience didn’t provide much preparation for this latest encounter, as she revealed,

 "I am not a shy person, I have crawled over glass to get where I am today and have become a tougher person. But I couldn’t believe how traumatising I found it seeing the five Dragons in front of me and my emotion got the better of me. It was a very different experience from my first in Ireland"

Was she successful? You can find out if her pitch won her investment from the Dragons on Sunday 19 August on BBC 2. We can't wait!


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