Dragons’ Den IRL: Concerns Raised as Loughbeg Farm Undervalues Its Business on the Show

Possible revised intro: If you have watched Dragons’ Den, the popular TV program where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to wealthy investors, you know that valuing a business is always a critical issue. However, what if the business owners themselves undervalue their own company on purpose, hoping to attract better offers from the dragons? That’s the question raised by the recent episode of Dragons’ Den featuring Loughbeg Farm, a small-scale organic farm from County Cork. In this blog post, we will explore why Loughbeg Farm decided to lowball their valuation, what the dragons thought about it, and what lessons we can learn from this real-life example of negotiation tactics.

Dragons’ Den IRL: Concerns Raised as Loughbeg Farm Undervalues Its Business on the Show


The popular show “Dragons’ Den” has been entertaining audiences around the world for years, showcasing budding entrepreneurs as they pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy investors. The Irish version of the show, called “Dragon’s Den IRL,” is no exception. Recently, on an episode of the show, a small business owner named Walter from Loughbeg Farm pitched his gluten-free bread company to the dragons. While the pitch was successful, many viewers and investors felt that the business was undervalued. In this article, we will explore the details of the pitch, the concerns raised, and delve deeper into the impact of the show on small businesses.

The Loughbeg Farm Pitch

Walter, the owner of Loughbeg Farm, started his entrepreneurial journey by noticing a gap in the gluten-free bread market. Through dedication and hard work, Walter developed a bread recipe that was not only gluten-free but also delicious. He began selling his bread at farmer’s markets and quickly gained popularity among his customers. However, Walter knew that he needed to scale up his business to reach more customers.

Walter made the decision to apply for the food academy program, where he received invaluable training and support to build his business. He started growing vegetables and making chutneys and jams, but he was determined to create something that people would want to eat every day. That’s when he developed his gluten-free bread, which eventually became his most successful product.

Walter’s gluten-free bread quickly gained popularity, and he currently has sales of €25,000 per month. His revenue stream is made up of €20,000 for his own products, and €5,000 from distributing the products of seven other food academy suppliers. During his pitch on “Dragon’s Den IRL,” Walter asked for €50,000 for a 20% share in his business, valuing his business at €250,000.

The Investors’ Offers and Concerns

The dragons were impressed with Walter’s pitch and his dedication to his business. Eamonn, one of the dragons, offered €50,000 for 20% of the business, with an open invitation for another dragon to join in offering more money for a similar percentage.

However, concerns were raised by Allison, another dragon, about dealing exclusively with Irish retailers, potentially limiting the market. She also questioned Walter’s valuation of the business, stating that it seemed too low. Allison advised Walter to consider seeking investment from a private equity firm to expand the business further.

One dragon opted out because food was not their area of expertise. The remaining dragon asked Walter to consider turning down the offer that was made and to look for investors who could help him expand his business in a more realistic way.

The Impact on Small Businesses

The episode of “Dragon’s Den IRL” featuring Walter’s pitch has sparked an important conversation about the impact of the show on small businesses. Many viewers and investors feel that the show puts undue pressure on entrepreneurs to undervalue their businesses to secure funding. This can create a dangerous trend in which businesses are not valued appropriately, and investors may not take them seriously.

Walter’s pitch highlights the challenges that small businesses face in securing funding and scaling up. While the food academy program was instrumental in helping him grow his business, the pressure to undervalue his business on the show was a hurdle that could have long-term consequences.


Walter’s pitch on “Dragon’s Den IRL” may have been successful, but it has raised important concerns about the show’s impact on small businesses. While “Dragon’s Den” can be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain exposure and secure funding, the pressure to undervalue their businesses can have unintended consequences. Entrepreneurs must balance the need for funding with the need to accurately value their business and ensure that their long-term goals are not compromised.


  1. What is the food academy program, and how did it help Walter?
    Ans. The food academy program is a program that provides training and support to small food businesses. Walter received valuable training and support through the program, which helped him grow his business.

  2. How much revenue does Walter’s business generate each month?
    Ans. Walter’s business generates €25,000 per month, with €20,000 of that coming from his own products.

  3. Why did Allison raise concerns about Walter’s business?
    Ans. Allison raised concerns about Walter’s business because he only deals with Irish retailers, potentially limiting his market. She also questioned his valuation of the business, which she felt was too low.

  4. What is the impact of “Dragon’s Den” on small businesses?
    Ans. The show can provide valuable exposure and funding opportunities for small businesses, but it can also create pressure to undervalue the business when seeking investment.

  5. What should entrepreneurs consider when seeking investment?
    Ans. Entrepreneurs should weigh the need for funding with the need to accurately value their business and ensure that their long-term goals are not compromised. It is essential to find investors who are aligned with the entrepreneur’s vision and can support the business’s expansion without putting undue pressure on the business owner to undervalue their business.

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