How to nab a personal fireside chat with 'Dragon' Deborah Meaden

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Deborah Meaden is a business leader, author, a Dragon and well known for her environmental pursuits. Pic: Nestlé Professional
Deborah Meaden is a business leader, author, a Dragon and well known for her environmental pursuits. Pic: Nestlé Professional

Related tags SMMEs business advice

The 65-year-old business guru recently revealed on Loose Women that strangers often pitch their business ideas in the street, so imagine the value of a seat at the table for a face-to-face discussion.

Discussions with Deborah by Nescafé is a Nestlé Professional campaign to help small businesses navigate the challenges they face by winning bespoke insight and advice from Deborah Meaden, one of Dragons’ Den’s most famous investors.

The fireside chat with Meaden is obviously a golden ticket and very timely. According to Nadia Roberts, brand manager for Nescafé B2B, this year, a whopping 7,000 UK business are predicted to fail – every quarter. 

“We know that every business is different but there are common themes that all small businesses face,” said Roberts.

“For example, we know that 76% of SMEs believe that having an environmental strategy is good for business and 25% would like their business to be more environmentally friendly. Over a third (35%) of small business owners want to learn how to improve their mental health while running a business but don’t feel they have access to the correct resources.”

Before making her name on the hit TV show, Meaden had her finger in several business pies, from acquiring a West Country textile mile that had been established in 1772 to running hugely successful leisure and retail businesses. Today, the business guru has an estimated net worth of £40m.

“As people know, I’m passionate about running ‘good’ businesses – and ‘good’ means different things to different people. There’s no one size fits all,” said Meaden.

“Running a business is a constant stream of challenges to navigate and it can be difficult to know where to turn for support and advice. I’m delighted to work with Nescafé B2B to share my knowledge and experiences with SMEs across the UK.” 

Panel participation or audience member

Nestlé Professional’s Let’s Partner up for Good will see six lucky businesses win a seat at the table to discuss their business challenges relating to their sustainability journey, workplace wellbeing and business growth with Meaden and Nescafé B2B business experts. 

The competition is open to owners of small to medium sized businesses (10-250 employees) – registered in either the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man, Channel Islands or Republic of Ireland – across all industries.

There is also the opportunity to get your company’s name out there.

The discussions will take place in front of a live audience during Spring/Summer 2024. Audience members will be selected from entrants to the competition and will also have the chance to pose their own questions during the live Q&A session.

So, whether it’s understanding what sustainability means for individual SMEs, improving employee wellbeing or boosting growth in the current climate, “our aim with this partnership is not only to provide bespoke insight for the six selected businesses, but to create a platform with longevity for learning and sharing for the small business community,” said Roberts.

To enter

Participants must first express their interest in Discussions with Deborah on Nestlé Professional’s website.

Once registered, entrants will receive an email containing a link to the competition application, which includes details on their business challenge and a short video clip. The purchase of a Nescafé product before the deadline is also necessary.

Entries close 31 March. T&Cs apply. 

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