Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and Dragons' Den investor

Deborah Meaden speaks at 20th Anniversary of BLF

The Business Leaders forum recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary at a special event which featured entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor, Deborah Meaden as the keynote speaker. 

The Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, Professor Sir Steve Smith opened the evening which took place at Holland Hall on Exeter’s Streatham campus. He introduced Deborah, who is a well-known business professional and holds an honorary degree from Exeter.

Deborah gave a thought-provoking and informative talk to guests on how businesses can learn from the past 20 years. She discussed how the way we do business has changed dramatically, driven by technological advancements, globalisation, rapidly changing consumer demand and societal shifts.

She suggested that businesses need to change their mind-set in order to keep pace with the fast changing landscape of the working world and that one of the ways they can do this is by recognising the different generations of people who work for them; baby boomers, generation X and Y. She pointed out that each generation works in its own way and therefore needs to be managed accordingly to ensure they can all work to the best of their ability.

The fascinating talk was followed by a lively discussion chaired by Professor Robin Mason, Dean of the Business School. Questions raised included what career path Deborah would choose if she was in the same position as young people today and how businesses can ensure that they recruit a good mix of skill-sets and personalities.

The Business Leaders Forum is a premier networking group for senior business people in the South West. It is aimed primarily at senior management and is a membership-based organisation that enables people to stay up-to-date with current trends in business. The Forum also provides an invaluable means of exchanging knowledge and developing ideas through business peers and leading academics.

If you are interested in joining the Business Leaders Forum, visit our website for more information. If you have any questions, contact the Partnerships Team at

Photo gallery

Date: 30 June 2015

Read more University News