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Dr Karen J Dickens

Female Founder Spotlight: Dr Karen J Dickens

4 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Dr Karen J Dickens
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Dr Karen J Dickens

Karen is the founder of Comitti Boats UK & Caribbean which was launched in September 2020, based on the shores of Lake Como.  She has a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from Kings College, University of London, and has over 30 years’ experience of working in the oil and retail industry. Karen joined Esso Petroleum Company Ltd in 1987 , moved to Chief Executive Officer of MRH (GB) Ltd in March 2016 where under her direction, MRH’s turnover increased to over £2billion, with over 491 sites and 1,100 employees with the company being sold in July 2018.  Karen still advises companies, management consultants and Private Equity companies involved in the oil and retail industry.  She combines this with Comitti Boats UK & Caribbean and her charitable work.  

Karen works closely with The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust to support its new heli-appeal, having recently created and driven an awareness and fundraising campaign The Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge for The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, raising over £140,000 by end Dec 2020, as well as supporting a children’s charity, the Nature Fun Ranch, based in Barbados. 

What would you like to share to encourage other women to start their own business? 

“I’d like to share my thoughts on Diversity – it’s something very close to my heart.  The timing is perfect to talk about Diversity. We only have to look across the water and see how many people are already inspired by the appointment of Kamala Harris as the new vice-president of the United States.   Diversity is a fundamental building block in business and in life.  I’ve always looked to build teams that have different outlooks, backgrounds and interests to help foster new ideas and perspectives.  It’s where creativity and innovation flourish, and it helps us understand different motivations, connections and interactions.  So for me, and for this year’s International Women’s Day I’m celebrating Diversity in every way to succeed and flourish in these very challenging times.”

What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?

View challenges as opportunities and don’t accept no

Create the right team around you and ensure you motivate them through inspirational leadership.  Diversity in your teams, and in your workplace, is vital supported by a mentoring program 

Define a clear vision and metrics for success at all levels ensuring to balance both leading and lagging indicators. Remember that cash flow is as important as margin

Networks, strategic partners and suppliers are key to success

Finding the right work / life balance is key. Ensure you that you give back to the communities / charities in areas you operate

Who are the 5 women who inspire you most?

Marie Curie

Audrey Hepburn

Margaret Thatcher

Princess Diana 

My Mum 

What is your favourite inspirational quote/saying?

‘If it wasn’t meant to be, it’s meant to be better !’

– although my teams would say it’s ‘do you think we could just ……’

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Dr Karen J Dickens
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Dr Karen J Dickens

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