Julie Deane

Julie Deane
Founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel Company

Julie Deane OBE is the founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, an iconic satchel brand, handcrafted in the UK.

What is your business background?

My degree’s in a science subject that means I love numbers and data! I then trained with Deloitte and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Being able to do my own books, payroll and tax in the early days meant I could keep a very tight eye on things and save money that could go straight back into the business.

What made you want to be a BIPC Ambassador?

I totally believe in the incredible advantage offered by the BIPC to those businesses that engage with them. Helping make the start-up and scale-up community aware of this resource is an honour. I believe that libraries play a critical role in the community and adding this vital role gives them yet another reason to not only survive but thrive.

What’s your favourite thing about the BIPC?

Two things – one’s the fact that it’s Library based, everyone feels welcome and comfortable in a library, far more so than many business hubs. The second’s the people, the level of optimism, energy, enthusiasm and support is wonderful.

Advice you would give a business owner just starting out on their journey?

It’s a time for thinking differently and that’s an area where entrepreneurs really come into their own. Change is accelerated, there are opportunities out there but we have to adapt and smaller, newer, less entrenched business can do that far more quickly. Business owners know their businesses inside/out, they can see how things could adapt to this new set of circumstances. It’s not easy, but it’s a challenge and there’s no choice other than to meet it.

Your most surreal moment in business?

Travelling with Richard Branson and the Virgin Start Ups team to Detroit, mentoring them on the plane and watching them pitch. Detroit made us incredibly welcome, Richard and the Virgin group were an absolute joy, so much fun to be with.

Most likely to be found at/in…

The garden with my dogs.


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