Arlene Dickinson

CEO of Venture Communications, District Ventures and Youinc.com

Arlene Dickinson

“The purpose of marketing is to deliver business results,” says Arlene Dickinson, renowned CBC “Dragon” and one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs. Whether explaining how to leverage marketing in even the toughest of economic times, sharing backstage stories from “The Den,” or giving audiences a look into her personal story of success, Dickinson’s experience and expertise always shines through.

Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. She is the CEO of Venture Communications and the general partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture fund helping market, fund, and grow entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies in the food and health space.

Best known to Canadians as a star of CBC’s award-winning series Dragons’ Den, Dickinson is also the author of three bestselling books: PersuasionAll In, and her most recent, Reinvention.

Dickinson’s success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award and the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. She is also an inductee in the Marketing Hall of Legends, and has been honoured with PROFIT and Chatelaine magazine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners Awards. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

Dickinson is an honorary captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and the recipient of four honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University, and NAIT. She also sits on numerous public and private boards and is dedicated to giving back to her community and country.

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    Topics 
  1. Reinvention

    Every one of us will feel stuck at some point in our lives. One day, you recognize that you have followed a path—personal or professional—that suddenly seems closed off or unfulfilling. Whether it’s a relationship that doesn’t connect in the way it used to or a job that started out being exciting but now feels unrewarding, suddenly you look up from your life and realize there is something else you want to do or to be. You’re ready for a reinvention.

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

    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.

  3. 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 lin

  4. 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, Arlene 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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