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Arlene Dickinson  

“Dragon” on CBC TV's "Dragons’ Den," Author, CEO of Venture Communications & General Partner of District Ventures Capital

Arlene Dickinson is the CEO of Venture Communications and General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture capital fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies in the food and health space.

She is a two-time best-selling author, accomplished public speaker, and is best known for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for over ten seasons on the multi-award-winning television series Dragons Den.

Ms. Dickinson’s leadership has been recognized many times, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners. She is also a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. Dickinson serves as an Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.

She sits on several public and private boards and is actively involved in supporting the community.

Speech Topics


Lessons from the Den: Succeeding at Business and Being an Entrepreneur

Can anyone be an entrepreneur? Arlene Dickinson’s emphatic answer is “Yes.” In this talk, one of Canada’s most high profile business women distills a lifetime of experience to reveal everything you need to know—and do—to start, to run, and to grow a great business. (A customized clip from the hit show Dragons’ Den provides buzz; though that’s just a starting point.) On stage, as on the small screen, Dickinson displays a palpable and infectious belief in the entrepreneurial spirit; she reminds us of the major contributions Canadians have made to international business and the entrepreneurial tradition.

Leadership and Strategic Marketing

“Like laying bricks to build a house, each dollar you spend on marketing should measurably build your business.” Marketing plays a fundamental role in all businesses—yet it is seldom held accountable the way other departments are. A superstar marketer driven by corporate objectives, Arlene Dickinson shows us why marketing must be a top concern of leadership, and why creativity and accountability must go hand in hand. Otherwise, why bother with marketing at all? Dickinson, as she does weekly on Dragons’ Den, will help decision-makers grasp the essential strategic function of marketing in an insightful, accessible and frank talk, anchored squarely to the bottom line.

Marketing Yourself

Success is often taken for granted; few stop to think about where it came from, what shaped it, what trials were involved. In this refreshing business talk, Dickinson tells her story, providing a rare look into the making of one of Canada’s most powerful business women. Brimming with lessons in self-doubt and self-confidence, this refreshing talk is underscored by modesty, grit, and enormous heart.

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