Speakers Corner - Our Favourite Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are some of the most popular keynote speakers, exuding the confidence of someone who has taken the risk, and invested emotionally and financially in making their dream come true. With passion, leadership skills and steep learning curves conquered, the ordinary people who become business leaders are inspirational, motivational and often charismatic orators.

At Speakers Corner we value and admire those entrepreneurs who enjoy sharing their wisdom and experience with those at the start of their business journey. We put our heads together to come up with a list of those we feel have the most to offer a corporate audience.

Sophie’s choice is Simon Duffy who co-founded male grooming brand Bulldog in 2006 with Rhodri Ferrier. Simon’s entrepreneurial journey is real and unique. Bulldog as a brand set out to change a market place and compete with personal care product giants. Throughout the road to success, Simon has never stopped learning and adapting… and he speaks with true passion and conviction about his experience.

The brand, available in some of the largest chain stores in the UK, has won accolades including Pure Beauty magazine's 2007 award for best male grooming launch as well as being named one of the top 100 companies to watch by startups.co.uk.

Paula’s pick is Deirdre Bounds. She loves how she never compromised her beliefs and still became a success.

For Rhona Leonard Brody is an innovative and forward thinking entrepreneur. He talks about shaping the future using technology and does so in a way that can be understood by everyone (not just techies). His knowledge of the web and social media is vast and it’s so interesting to hear how it will continue to change and in doing so, affect businesses and the world we live in.

Debbie decided that Alex Hunter was her top pick.

Alex has a wealth of experience in the areas of branding, marketing and technology - and is incredibly approachable and friendly. He also has some great business messages which are relevant for any industry/company…..he says it is much harder to be noticed now because there are new products being born every week – which is scary for some, motivating for others. So, in this super crowded marketplace, how do you stand out? He says you have to believe your own hype – it’s way easier to sell! Be positive, nice, proactive – but competitive! Alex peppers his speeches with great examples from his corporate roles (at Virgin Group) and entrepreneurial achievements.

For Nick Biz Stone is a guiding light in the world of business – a true visionary entrepreneur who started a business with no clear revenue model and with a product that was complete different.

For Jason, Dave Fishwick is a true inspiration. He loves his no nonsense Northern approach to business, particularly his work tackling the major banks and starting his own. He makes very interesting points about the existing banks not lending to SMEs and therefore stunting UK growth. These lending decisions are now done remotely, sometimes decided in another country, allowing a disconnect between bank and customer; something that was not the case 20 years ago.

He’s suggested that if every large town, by his estimates there are 100 in the UK, had a community bank run by the community themselves lending to local businesses that would help. You would sit down face to face, explain your proposition/business idea and make a decision from there. He’s seen this with his Bank On Dave in Burnley and seen small businesses grow as a result. Imagine this on a much larger scale; the economic impact on the UK, if this was introduced, could be huge!

Tim holds Jo Fairley of Green and Blacks in the highest esteem – she gives away free chocolate at the events she speaks at!

Helena admires Fraser Docherty – a young kid starting out small and realising the potential of his grandma’s recipe. With the support of his family, and using the kitchen at home, Fraser never gave up even after an initial rejection from big supermarket chains.  Now a recognised brand and an inspiration for young people, Fraser is understated and still a humble guy. He also gives back to the community, for example teas for local pensioners – he hasn’t forgotten his roots!

Natalie believes in the values and passion of Charles Adler, social entrepreneur and a creative innovation thought-leader, who co-founded Kickstarter, the groundbreaking US-based crowdfunding website.

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