Steven Bartlett under fire for comments on beauty entrepreneur’s Dragons’ Den appearance

By Becky Bargh

British businessman wouldn’t put money into mom of two Zara Saleem’s Delhicious Body because of a dip in gross sales when her youngsters had been at house in the course of the pandemic

Steven Bartlett – a British businessman and co-founder of Social Chain – has come under fire for his comments of 1 budding beauty entrepreneur on Dragons’ Den.

Zara Saleem appeared on the hit BBC One present along with her Ayurvedic-inspired physique care model Delhicious Body, asking for £50,000 for a 15% share in her firm.

The mom of two mentioned she would use the funding to scale her model and launch into the facial care class.

Following a grilling from different ‘dragons’, Bartlett started his line of enquiry into the enterprise’ funds.

After a profitable 12 months one, Saleem mentioned her gross sales had dropped over £39,000 throughout 2020 as a result of pandemic.

When requested why, she admitted she had scaled again her enterprise in the course of the months of lockdown because of having her two younger youngsters at house full time.

“I don’t understand how that’s doable, even contemplating the Covid circumstances, as a result of the unpredicted chaos of Covid, completely represents the journey of an entrepreneur,” mentioned the 29-year-old businessman.

“Things occur and it’s absolute hell at occasions, and as an entrepreneur, your end result – success or failure – is usually decided by the way you adapt, and what I can see in that 12 months is that we weren’t in a position to adapt when surprising chaos confirmed up, that for me is regarding.

“And I can’t recover from that. I’m out.”

Saleem left the den with no traders.

One viewer, nevertheless, mentioned that Bartlett’s comments left her “infuriated”.

“As I watched tonight’s Dragon’s Den I used to be infuriated on the rejection of 1 specific entrepreneur – Zara Saleem of Delhicious Body,” Anita Phagura, a management coach wrote on LinkedIn.

“Not even the choice to not make investments (though it appeared like she had actual promise and a cracking product) however your comments as to the explanation why you wouldn’t make investments, as not with the ability to recover from the time a mom of younger youngsters stepped again from her self-run and managed enterprise in a worldwide pandemic as she ought to have been in a position to take the ups and downs and surprising challenges as an entrepreneur would.

“As if that was an illustration of her lack of resilience and dedication.”

My open letter to Steven Bartlett has gone viral – calling out poisonous hustle work tradition and judgement of how a feminine founder with youngsters managed her enterprise via lockdown. #delihiciousbody #dragonsden . #prrequest #journorequest #WomeninBusiness— Anita Phagura (she/her) (@FiercePm) March 26, 2022

She continued: “So the choice to not make investments on this eloquent entrepreneur due to a dip in turnover in 2020 appears properly a bit quick sighted.

“But the true infuriating bit is that it compounds the gender inequities, ladies, moms and feminine founders are already going through to overlook out on funding alternatives.

“And yep we all know feminine companies are much less prone to get funding as it’s already.”

Others have been fast to reply.

One LinkedIn consumer wrote: “Showing as much as Dragons’ Den is [a] large indicator of her success and braveness.”

Another described the comments as “terrible”.

Saleem declined to remark on the backlash.


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