e2live-deadOn 1st August 2005, Rachel Elnaugh’s Red Letter Days went into administration leaving plenty of unpaid suppliers and disappointed customers.

Rachel received a lot of personal attacks over the failure of her business and she had to spend a long time trying to get her side of the story heard. In short, she says it was the fault of the banks.

I’ve no reason to disbelieve her.

Failure is the risk anyone starting out on a business venture has to face.
Sometimes you’re lucky, more often you’re not.

Entrepreneur Leon Heywood has today been dealt the “unlucky” card.

He was planning an event for Global Entrepreneurship Week next week called E2Live. Today the event has been “postponed until April 2011”.  I’m guessing it may never happen.

Within hours, if not minutes, of the cancellation being announced, Rachel Elnaugh started posting some very aggressive tweets – saying that the whole event was a scam and that Leon Heywood is a con man.  Music to a libel lawyers ears.

I don’t know Leon, but I know people who do and they speak highly of him. I’ve also spoken to him on the phone a couple of times and he seems genuine enough to me.

There’s a lot he can be criticised for in the planning of the E2Live event, but to call him a con man and a scammer before he’s had a chance to put his side of the story across is just a little bit nasty. Especially from someone like Rachel Elnaugh who has been on the receiving end of personal attacks because of a failed venture herself and should know better.

Rachel has offered no evidence to back up her accusations other than:

1) “ExCel [the venue for the exhibition] hasn’t been paid”
I was aware of that weeks ago. Why? Leon told me. It wasn’t a secret. The venue HAD been booked and payment terms had been negotiated so he could pay nearer the time of the event. Sounds sensible to me.

2) Rachel herself hasn’t been paid
OK, and?

My guess is that he didn’t sell enough tickets or get enough sponsorship to make the event financially viable.

No doubt there are lots of frustrated people now waiting for refunds of the money they paid for their tickets. Hopefully they’ll get those refunds. But how about we give the man a chance to sort out those refunds and, if he chooses, to put his side of the story across?

To Rachel: If you have more evidence to support your assertion that Leon has set out to rip people off then it might be wise to post it rather than just slagging him off via Twitter.

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