5 Big Questions: DEBORAH MEADEN


What is entrepreneurialism in 2022?

How do we know who to trust in business?

Why is the personality of a business important?

In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to serial entreprenuer and star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den DEBORAH MEADEN.


Twitter: @DeborahMeaden | Instagram: @DeborahMeaden

Known for:

  • Investor – Dragon’s Den (BBC)
  • Host – The Big Green Money Show podcast
  • Ambassador – The Marine Conservation Society
  • Member of the Council of Ambassadors – World Wildlife Fund
  • Former Director – Weststar Holidays

The 5 Big Questions:

Measuring change How do you measure the impact of what you do?

Ready for anything - future proofingHow should people/businesses be preparing for the future?

Skills, talent & opportunityHow do we build the workforce we need for that future?

Embedded innovationHow do you use creativity to solve problems?

Bold connections, collaborationHow do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“I’m not hard but I’m tough. It’s different.”

“Yes I have wealth, and I’m not affected in the same way as the huge swathe of people in this country but it doesn’t mean I can’t care about other people and in fact that makes my life better — if you’re connected to your society, if you care about your society and think actually I want to help, it makes your life more worthwhile as well. Even on a purely selfish basis I don’t get people who don’t connect with society and don’t care about it.”

“I want to be the same person in business that I am outside of business and it worries me, we’re all becoming much more aware of people who are one thing in one scenario and then there’s something somewhere else — and actually I don’t trust those people.”

“I’m not a character, I am me, in that situation. What you’ve got to think about Dragon’s Den is, some of those pitches last three hours, and they’re boiled down to the essence of that pitch. Quite rightly what the editors do is say okay, the lesson in that is this, and that’s what we’re going to hone in on.”

“Your business is a personality, and it’s become even more so now, people see businesses as a personality. Think of your business as a respected friend.”

“Just remember what it is that your customers love about you, and get rid of all the other stuff. Now that takes headspace. But the power of either having a mentor who can pull you out of that, or having the discipline yourself to say, I have to remember what matters.”

“If you can’t take the time out to think about your business into the future, then there’s a big problem in your business.”

“We are all creative in some way. Some of us have a wide spectrum of creativity but I think it’s what makes us human. We yearn it. It’s in our DNA.”

“One of the fundamental attributes of a successful entrepreneur is having a good nose for things. You’ve got to be able to read when you’re not being well received as well as when you are being well received.”

“Well, The Apprentice is not so much a business programme anymore, but I’d like to think that Dragon’s Den, well it is, it’s fundamentally still a business programme.”

This episode was recorded in November 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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