Scottish businesswomen fail to impress TV Dragons


Sarah McLean and Sandy Maxwell-Forbes

By Cara Sulieman

TWO SCOTTISH businesswomen failed to impress the Dragons when they pitched their business idea on national television this week.

Sandy Maxwell-Forbes and Sarah McLean run dog-sitting service Citidogs Creche and were hoping the five entrepreneurs on Dragons Den would see the potential in their unique idea.

Although they impressed the formidable group to start with, the duo cracked when their finances were examined by the experienced Dragons.

Looking for £75,000 for a 20 per cent stake in the business, their proposition looked promising after they pitched their idea.

But it was fellow Scot Duncan Bannatyne who discovered that the pair hadn’t taken VAT into consideration, knocking money off their expected profit.

The pair run a doggy creche in Edinburgh with customers paying £15 a day for their dogs to be picked up and looked after all day.

And they were hoping for a cash injection from the Dragons to role their business out all over the country.

But despite their knock-back on the show, the women are determined to make the idea work.

Sandy, 46, said: “It was an amazing experience and we came away really fired up.

“Immediately after recording for the show we bought our second van and we are hoping to open our second creche by the end of next year.”

Based in the Colinton area of Edinburgh, the duo came up with the idea when they had to leave their own pooches at home while they went to work.

Sandy said: “When I was working I always worried about leaving my dog at home.

“There no was such thing as drinks after work or weekends away, because the personal angst and guilt I felt after leaving Molly was huge.

“So myself and fellow animal lover Sarah decided to make a career out of caring for dogs in a creche set-up with a family feel.

“It is not just about fun and games. We are committed to giving dogs a lot of exercise and we will take them to the vets for all their boosters or any treatments they need.

“We also pick them up and take them home.”

On the programme – aired on BBC two on Monday night – the pair said that they would be willing to charge for their pickup and drop off service which is currently free, but it was too little too late to tempt the Dragons.

After exposing the duo’s uncertainty about their finances, Duncan Bannatyne summed up the atmosphere in the den.

He said: “What you need to do is sit down, do your projections and then you will know how much your company is worth.

“Until then you have no idea and I have no idea and for that reason I’m out.”