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Debra Searle MVO, MBE

Serial entrepreneur Debra Searle, renowned for what turned out to be a solo Atlantic crossing, Debra is a truly inspirational and dynamic motivational speaker.

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“I have never heard a better speech, anywhere, in any context.” Alan Farnsworth, President, Bausch & Lomb EMEA

Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational motivational speaker. She is a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate. Debra first hit the headlines when she set out to row across the Atlantic with her husband. Unfortunately, he had to be rescued so Debra as a novice rower, continued alone. She eventually rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken them six weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone. She encountered 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in her 23 foot plywood boat.


In addition to her sporting prowess, Debra is also an entrepreneur. She founded her first company, a dot-com, at the age of 23 and second at 27. More recently Debra founded a diversity consultancy and training company which specialises in innovative corporate programmes.

Diversity and Inclusion

In 2015, Debra combined her two passions for adventure and gender balance.  She led a team of 12 ordinary businesswomen on an expedition in the Arctic Circle.  This was part of a wider corporate diversity programme.


Debra is a regular presenter for the BBC, with credits including Grandstand, Extreme Lives, and Builders, Sweat and Tears.


Debra is a superb International inspirational speaker. She uses her Atlantic story and experience as an entrepreneur to powerfully but subtly draw out key business and interpersonal lessons. She illustrates her speeches with slides and stunning video footage. Therefore, leaving her audience in no doubt of their own ability to achieve the extraordinary.

Having made the list for Global Gurus for the first time in 2020 at no. 29, Debra has been voted no.3 in the ‘World’s Top Motivational Speakers’ category for 2021. The public vote put her as the highest rated female, with only Simon Sinek and Tony Robbins ahead.

Debra is currently delivering inspirational presentations to virtual conferences online around themes of resilience, perseverance, working positively in isolation and overcoming adversity.

Feedback on her presentations includes:

You’ve clearly had a massive impact on our Division … We’ve never had feedback like it for a guest speaker!” – Kate Cook, Nestlé UK

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