Debra Blisson is a highly experienced and successful businesswoman with exceptional entrepreneurial expertise having started six businesses herself, some as social enterprises and some as for profit businesses. She remains a non-executive director for two of these businesses.
Debra has worked in the fields of economic development, women’s enterprise strategy and policy, social enterprise and co-operative development, and as an advisor to small and medium sized enterprises. She has also written a number of articles and papers on enterprise development. She has been a women’s enterprise advisor to the UK government and has established a number of women’s enterprise support organisations, both in the UK and Europe. She has also worked extensively across Europe providing consultancy support to both public and private sector companies.
Until December 2011, Debra was the Director of Enterprise and Business Support for Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands. Debra was responsible for enterprise and business support policy, with an annual budget of circa £70 million. She also chaired the regional working group for the allocation and delivery of Enterprise and Business Support funds for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Whilst at AWM, Debra developed a range of policy initiatives providing strategic and practical support to women in business, minority ethnic businesses, youth enterprise and social enterprise.
Debra is currently studying for a PhD at Aston University.