Helen Gibson MBE
Helen Gibson MBE is an award-winning international business entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author, coach and leadership expert. Intent on transforming lives and changing the world for the better, Helen draws upon her own experiences as CEO of Agencia, in which she has operated alongside her father and sister in their family firm.
Sought out by both UK and foreign governments to tackle some of the most complex issues in the world’s trouble spots, Helen Gibson MBE has had a career like no other. A talented speaker, Helen has an understanding of the challenges facing countries in conflict and transition. From many modern-day issues such as terrorism, corruption, cybercrime, pandemics, addiction and migration, the work of Helen’s company has affected millions of people around the world. Under her leadership, Agencia has been trusted to deliver on the frontline with health, justice, policing and security services. With an enviable client list including the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, NHS, PwC, EU and the United Nations, Agencia has successfully delivered in 27 countries, including Bosnia Herzegovina, Ukraine, British Virgin Islands, Bahrain, Kenya and Afghanistan. Succeeding in doubling in turnover, this business growth is testament to Helen’s values-driven leadership.
In recognition of the significance of her international achievements, Helen was awarded an MBE by the Queen for her services to international trade in 2022. Her company was also named Best Small Business in the UK at the National Family Business Awards in 2017.
After initially following her mother into teaching, Helen’s early career included working in the Cabinet Office and then at PA Consulting Group. Today, Helen is a popular choice as a speaker for a range of events, booked to cover topics such as women in business, leadership, international business, change management and resilience. Helen is a mentor delivering the Cherie Blair Foundation Women in Business programme, a consultant and coach to a portfolio of clients and is sought for the role of non-executive director by organisations wanting to learn from her success and experience.
Helen Gibson MBE performs a variety of voluntary roles, including being appointed by the Department of International Trade for six years running as a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion and sitting on a Department for Business and Trade national policy group to give an SME perspective on free trade agreements that are being negotiated. The former University of Durham graduate, later graduated from Hull University Business School. She has returned as a Guest Lecturer on the MBA programme, educating others through her experience. In her capacity as an entrepreneur, Helen is passionate about championing young people and still supports her own school, in her role as Enterprise Advisor at Beverley High School for Girls. Her school presentations connect with students, helping them to find a passion which can guide them with career options. Helen also served as a Magistrate on the Westminster and Central London Bench for over a decade.
Helen shares her business and leadership story and advice with a number of newspapers, websites and magazines and has featured in The Guardian, Yorkshire Post, Business Insider, International Journal of Education Management and on BBC Radio. Helen has performed presentations for a variety of UK and international audiences including the Department for Business and Trade, Citizens Watch International, Crown Agents, NHS England, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Family Business Place, For Entrepreneurs Only and International Women’s Day events.
In 2024, Helen Gibson MBE will publish her first book called Porridge and Goosebumps. Sharing practical tips for cultivating encouragement in today’s world, the book is a culmination of what she has learned in business, and her belief that encouragement is a vital ingredient to overcoming life’s porridge and achieving more goosebump moments. Gifted with a naturally positive disposition, Helen’s energy, passion and infectious enthusiasm is hard to beat. Radiating warmth, Helen has an instant likeability factor, vivacious style and an approachability that has brought an impressive change to a number of individuals, teams, organisations and communities around the world, thanks to her flair in bringing together people of different backgrounds to make a difference. Committed to taking a confidence-building approach, Helen is captivating for audiences who enjoy listening to her genuine ‘warts and all’ account. With a passion for adventure and desire to positively impact lives, Helen has a host of inspirational stories to recall to guests as a fantastic after dinner speaker or keynote speaker, with her stories being relatable to a number of applications in business and life. Helen’s story inspires many individuals, having achieved sustained international business success in the male-dominated justice, policing and security sectors, making her a popular and engaging personality at events.
- Women in business
- International business
- Change management
“Helen is one of our most enthusiastic Export Champions, always presenting sound advice and guidance on exporting. She is a delight to work with and inspirational to those engaging with her.”
— Bev Mullin, Department for Business and Trade
“It’s always a real pleasure to listen to Helen’s presentations. Her engaging personality and passion for business really shines through, whatever topic she is speaking on.”
— Jan Brumby, For Entrepreneurs Only