Arlene Dickinson

You can’t base your life’s decisions on potential future regrets.

Business Speaker, CEO of Venture Communications, Star of Dragons' Den

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Arlene Dickinson | Business Speaker, CEO of Venture Communications, Star of Dragons' Den

Keynote speaker Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned entrepreneurs and investors. Her keynotes draw on her experience as a judge on Dragons’ Den and CEO of powerhouse marketing firm Venture Communications, revealing everything you need to know—and do—to start, run, and grow a great business. 

Dickinson is also the CEO of Arlene Dickinson Enterprises (ADE) and, companies she founded in 2012 that are dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle. She is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series’ Dragons’ Den (which she will return to for Season 12), The Big Decision, and Recipe to Riches. She is also the author of the #1 bestselling book Persuasion and the creator of the Persuasion product line that includes coffee, wine, skin care, and chocolate. Her new book, All In, focuses on how to thrive in the entrepreneurial lifestyle—and how to avoid its pitfalls.


“Arlene is dynamic and energetic, the kind of person who brings a gust of air into a room and attracts notice without trying.”


A mother of four and grandmother of three, Dickinson is proud to be the national spokesperson for The Breakfast Clubs of Canada since 2010. 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, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners. She is a highly sought-after speaker for conferences.

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 a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.    


“We loved Arlene! What a fantastic night for us at the Vic Juba Community Theatre. It has been a pleasure working with everyone at Lavin and Arlene was amazing. She was very well received by the audience and was wonderful at the reception. Thank you again. We look forward to working with you.”

Vic Juba Community Theatre

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 speakers 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 is an inspirational speaker. 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. This keynote is highly requested by those who are looking to hire Arlene Dickinson as a speaker.

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, celebrity speaker 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.

Don’t Slash Your Marketing Budget! (Not Now, Not Ever)

The marketing guru on Dragons’ Den, business speaker Arlene Dickinson shows us why the best companies don’t stop marketing during a recession. With striking examples, and peerless business sense, she shows you how to leverage your marketing through the tough times—in order to come out ahead when the good times return.

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, keynote speaker 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.