Lingerie tycoon appointed to lead start-up review » SMEInsider

Lingerie tycoon appointed to lead start-up review

Michelle Mone OBE, entrepreneur and founder of lingerie brand Ultimo, has been appointed by the government to lead an independent review to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurs in deprived communities.

The Department for Work and Pensions has selected Mone to lead the review due to her entrepreneurial background.

The report aims to find ways in which to inspire benefit claimants, women, young people, disabled people and ex-offenders to become entrepreneurs.

The review will also try and identify the biggest factors that stop potential entrepreneurs from becoming successful, including the lack of business networks and the small amount of inspiring role models and mentors.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Mone left school at 15 and founded Ultimo in her twenties. Soon after starting her company Mone won the World Young Business Achiever Award in the United States.

After selling an 80 per cent stake in the multi-million pound firm, Mone has gone on to purchase other companies, as well as becoming a voice for British entrepreneurship. Michelle was recently voted one of the top 7 inspiring female entrepreneurs in the world, a list that included Oprah Winfrey.

In an interview Mone revealed her working philosophy, stating that ‘‘it does not matter where you are from, what education you have, or if you are from an affluent background or not, you can make it if you work hard, set your goals and never give up.’’

Mone has also made her political allegiances public. A firm Labour supporter and critic of the SNP, Mone is now working with the Conservatives to secure future SME success.

‘‘I’ve always been Labour through and through. But I think the Conservatives did inherit a really bad business five years ago, and I think they’ve done a hell of a good job,’’ stated Mone in an interview with The Guardian.

Mone has been asked to draw on her own experiences of setting up and running her own businesses for the review, which could help Business Secretary Sajid Javid in his mission to increase UK productivity.

‘‘It is an honour to be appointed to lead this review because I know how tough it can be setting up your own business,’’ stated Mone. ‘‘I am passionate about doing everything I can, to help create a climate in which people of all ages and backgrounds can succeed in setting up successful businesses.’’

‘‘A truly modern and successful economy needs to be able to unleash the entrepreneurial energy of skills of everyone in society.’’

‘‘It cannot tolerate a situation where people are held back from achieving dreams of working for themselves and creating jobs for others, simply because of where they are from, because they have had a really tough time growing up, or because they are a lone parent.’’