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Arlene Dickinson

Dragons' Den Personality, Entrepreneur, Marketing Communications Expert

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list.  She is also the CEO of YouInc.com, a company she founded in 2012 that is dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision and marketing expert on Recipe to Riches.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Presentations

Lessons from the Den: Succeeding at Business and Being an Entrepreneur
Can anyone be an entrepreneur? Arlene’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. On stage, she 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.

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 talk, Arlene tells her story, providing a rare look into the making of one of Canada’s most powerful business women. Filled with the key lessons Arlene has learned throughout her journey, this talk is underscored by modesty, grit, and enormous heart.

Leadership and Strategic Marketing
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 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? She will help decision-makers grasp the essential strategic function of marketing in an insightful, accessible and frank talk, anchored squarely to the bottom line..

Awards

2014
Canadian Immigrant | RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award

2011
Women’s International Film and Television Showcase | Lifetime Achievement Business Award

2001-09
PROFIT Magazine | TOP 100 Women Business Owners

2008
McGill University | Management Achievement Award

2003-06
Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100


  • Arlene Dickinson's personal story was a wonderful way to start the day and her emphasis on dimensions of character that are not often discussed, such as humanity and humility was particularly powerful… In a business school it is important to have great female role models with our speakers and she delivered that in spades.

    - Ivey Business School

Summary Profile

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list.  She is also the CEO of YouInc.com, a company she founded in 2012 that is dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision and marketing expert on Recipe to Riches.  She is the author of two books, the number one bestselling book, Persuasion and the best-selling release, All In. 

Her success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards including: Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winner, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners. A generous philanthropist, supporter of many important causes and mother of four and grandmother of five, Dickinson is proud to be the national spokesperson for The Breakfast Clubs of Canada since 2010.

Dickinson is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and is the proud recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.