Deirdre Bounds

Deirdre Bounds

Serial Ethical Entrepreneur, Business Woman & Author

Deirdre Bounds has been voted as one of the North's top 100 entrepreneurs, she is recognised as being in the top 50 influencers in the region, is the Woman of Achievement in Yorkshire 2010, sits on the board of three public sector organisations, is a regular commentator on BBC Radio 2 and 5Live and was one of eight entrepreneurs chosen to travel to Africa with Channel 4.

When she draws a breath, is a wife and mum of two.


Deirdre was responsible for making travel industry history by changing people’s perceptions of the ‘ethical travel’ movement. Her outlandish ideas in the company she created helped change the lives of 1000’s of people and protect the earth’s environment. In her talks she draws upon her broad range of experiences as a backpacker, stand-up comedienne, lost soul, hugely successful entrepreneur and bestselling personal development author.


As a business person, her interests range from the enterprising mindset, SME business growth, curing bland brands, savvy marketing, zeitgeist spotting, the emotion economy, generation Y customers, fearless innovation, women in business and enterprising teens. Due to her international business experience she has much to comment about the global economy and why and how companies and individuals need to adjust to it.

As an entrepreneur, Deirdre founded and sold the world’s largest gap year travel company to a FTSE 100 company for an eight-figure sum. She has since set up an ethical children’s party company - the first of its type in the UK. She therefore has a connection both with business audiences and those aspiring to become the next enterprising leaders. This is revealed in the huge amount of practical advice consisting of both the successes and failures she encountered along the way. Her audiences are left in no doubt that she knows what she is talking about and take away much from her authentic wisdom.

As a commentator, author and speaker, Deirdre combines all of her life and business experience to create a memorable and helpful exchange of ideas. She passionately believes in helping each individual to survive the mental roller-coaster of business – and once they have mastered that – she drives them on to take control of their business success.

Recent subjects Deirdre has covered are, SME growth master-classes, personal and business authenticity, the cure bland brands, leadership, women in business, Gen Y customers along with her outstanding and inspirational keynote about the growth and sale of her travel company.

Judge: Everywoman National Business Awards 2008
Judge: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year : 2007
Winner: Special Judges Award 2005 ; Institute of Directors
Finalist: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year: 2004
Winner: Yorkshire Business of the Year 2003

Deirdre is a very amusing and energetic speaker. She has a great story to tell and is an inspiring and knowledgeable entrepreneur.
Michelle Storer, Ernst & Young

A naturally inspiring speaker, Deirdre "tells it like it is" in language which strikes a real chord with her audience. Her enthusiasm for business and for life in general is highly infectious!
Simon Hill, Yorkshire Forward

"Deirdre was an excellent speaker and really engaged the audience with a down to earth approach combined with a genuine passion for what we as an organisation are trying to do. Feedback from delegates also suggests she delivered the right mixture of insight and observations and people felt they could both relate to her and learn from her in equal measure. I would thoroughly recommend her for any engagements that require an entertaining approach combined with the need for more serious points to be articulated."
Andrew Brocklehurst, Director, The Northern Leadership Academy

The dust is starting to settle after our Conference and feel I must write to say how pleased we were with your recommendation of Deirdre Bounds as speaker and host at our Awards Ceremony. She very quickly established a positive rapport with our team and with the audience. Her informal approach and sense of humour allowed her to get across a serious message in a very appropriate and well-received way and it was obvious that our award winners were thrilled to meet her. Please pass on our warmest thanks to Deirdre.
George Derbyshire, Chief Executive - NFEA

I booked Deidre Bounds as a business speaker at the Trinity Mirror Group Business Awards in November 2007 and I was delighted with her address. In my experience, it is very rare to find a speaker that captivates and maintains the attention of the whole room and Deirdre did just this. Her animated and dynamic approach was refreshing and exciting. Her frank and honest account of her rise to success and the trails, tribulations and challenges on that journey was professional, and truly inspirational. The audience were poised for the next chapter and each account was punctuated with humour and passion. I would not hesitate in recommending Deirdre to other people looking for a speaker.
Jenny Snell, Event Manager, Trinity Mirror Group Business Awards 2007

"On our feedback forms, Deirdre was rated the favourite speaker of the day, and it was a tough choice as the quality of speakers was extremely high. Our audience of events organisers and suppliers to the events industry are exacting, very hard to please, and not easy to impress. Deirdre's presentation was absolutely inspiring, hugely engaging, directly relevant to the audience and most entertaining. She spoke honestly and openly about her experiences, gave us loads of ideas on how to be different and gave us affirmation that we were going in the right direction. You could just see the entire audience itching to get up and do something about their work and their lives about half way through the presentation.' 'I think it goes without saying that Deirdre was utterly professional in her engagement with us, and I have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone who needs a keynote speaker of the highest calibre."
Sarah Carroll, Conference Organisers Ireland