Ethical Entrepreneur & Accidental Millionaire Deirdre Bounds has been proclaimed by the Telegraph as having the "Northern grit and determination that represents the perfect role model for business". She is one of the UK's top female entrepreneurs going from start-up to exit in 10 years and selling her ethical travel company i-to-i for many millions in 2007. Her story has gone from bedsit to big time; from standing start to leading light; from ‘can do’ to ‘already done’, and this former comedienne and mother of two young children Deirdre never fails to enthuse and inspire with the infectious secret of her business and personal success.
Deirdre Bounds is a runaway success story and what makes Deirdre's story truly remarkable is that she's an entrepreneur in the purest sense - no commercial experience, no family history of enterprise, no money, just a great idea, a pile of passion, masses of mistakes and a sense of humour! She has lived a life that shows astonishing triumph over adversity and how dreams can really come true.
In creating her own ethical travel company i-to-i.com, Deirdre used her own experiences as a drop out, a stand up comedienne and a wayward backpacker. Her aim was to challenge traditional ideas in the travel industry and dare to be different. She is living proof that business and personal success is available to all, regardless of background, gender, race, social class or any other obstacle that you can throw at it.
Deirdre offers a number of speeches to inspire, entertain and create energy. She emphasises the importance of self belief and success in both one's personal and business life and will lift you with her world experience, her positive spirit and her lively humour.
Deirdre also has a commitment to give something back. Through sheer hard work and determination, she has made travel industry history by changing people's perceptions of the 'responsible travel' movement. Her company has assisted in changing the lives of 1000's of people and protecting our environment. She is Patron of Marie Curie Cancer Care in West Yorkshire, is a regular speaker for the international aid charity World Vision and financially supports charities that aid suffering alcoholics.
Deirdre has extensive experience of working with the media and has appeared on Sky News, Radio Four, Radio 5 and GMTV, as well as having a regular live Saturday morning slot as a co-presenter on BBC Radio Leeds. She was one of eight entrepreneurs chosen by Channel 4 to spend 4 weeks in Africa bringing enterprise ideas to a poverty stricken Ugandan village. She as even taken part in the reality TV show Wife Swap, she insists that the story is good even if the memory isn't.
She has been featured in a plethora of national newspapers and women's magazines and her story can be found in all good bookstores after a colourful interview for the 'How I made it' column in The Sunday Times was used in Rachel Bridge's 'My Big Idea', a book about entrepreneurial success.
Both Deirdre’s parents are from County Kerry and a very profitable branch of the i-to-i ethical travel company that Deirdre founded operates from County Waterford.
"Her talk was inspirational to say the least. Everyone that I spoke to was very impressed by her, she interacted very well with the audience, everyone could relate to her, and she stood and spoke personally to everyone that wanted to say thanks to her after - a very nice touch and an excellent start to your week" - Peter Hollingswoth, North-West Marketing Ltd
"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