Frances Dickens

Entrepreneur, Chairman and Founder, Astus Group

Frances Dickens is a successful entrepreneur and Chairman/Founder of global media barter specialist Astus Group. 

Having left school at 16 without qualifications and after exploring various industry sectors, Frances joined billboard company More O’Ferrall before moving to outdoor specialist Harrison Salinson (now Posterscope).

After several years working for a US barter firm with UK offices, in 2003 Frances launched Astus Group along with co-founder Paul Jackson, pioneering a new approach to media barter focussing on accountability, transparency, integrity and delivery on promises as central values.

The company transformed perceptions of media barter in the UK and is now the UK’s biggest media barter company with an estimated market share of 45%. As a working mother who grew a business from scratch to a multi-million-pound operation, Frances has forthright views on issues such as apprenticeships, under-representation of women on boardsand how the government needs to support SMEs.

In December 2014 Frances made it to the final round of the NatWest everywoman Awards which celebrate the business achievements of the UK’s female entrepreneurs. As a result, she was the front cover interview for Elite Business. Frances has also appears as the business guest on The Apprentice You’re Fired and has featured in the Sunday Times How I Made it section.