Sarah Willingham – Keynote Speaker

"Dragon" on Dragon's Den

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Sarah Willingham Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Food Retailing
  • Restaurant Industry
  • Entrepreneurism


  • English


Sarah Willingham is an successful entrepreneur and investor best known for her time as a Dragon on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, having the largest chain of Indian restaurants in the UK and more recently co-founding and floating Nightcap PLC on AIM (a late night bar group) – one of the most successful IPOs of 2021.

Sarah continues to invest and runs a wide portfolio of investments across a number of sectors including The Craft Gin Club, Credit Kudos, Secret Spa and many others.

Sarah Willingham grew up in Stoke on Trent. After leaving school she completed two business degrees in the UK and France and an MBA from Cranfield. She went onto work with some of the most successful high street chains including Planet Hollywood and PizzaExpress.

In 2003, Sarah spotted an opportunity to create a chain of Indian restaurants, striking out on her own to raise the finance to buy The Bombay Bicycle Club. She went on to turn it into the largest and most successful Indian restaurant chain in the UK. In the same year, at the age of 31, Sarah successfully co-founded and floated a nutraceutical business on the London Stock Exchange, Neutrahealth PLC.

Management Today named her as one of the “35 most successful women under 35” in the UK and in 2017 She was named one of UK’s ‘500 Most Influential people in Britain’. In the Sunday Times. In 2017 Sarah Willingham also received an honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University and in 2018 she received honorary doctorates from Cranfield University and Oxford Brookes University in recognition of her contribution to business and entrepreneurship.

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