From The Top

Ultimo founder Michelle Mone appointed by government to carry out entrepreneurship review

Rebecca Smith | 11 August 2015 | 9 years ago

Mone was awarded an OBE in 2010
Michelle Mone was awarded an OBE in 2010 for her contribution to business
The entrepreneur behind lingerie company Ultimo has been appointed by the government to commence a ten-month review into how to improve the process of encouraging startups in places of high unemployment.

Scottish businesswoman Michelle Mone left school at 15 and went onto set up Ultimo in her 20s, selling an 80 per cent’stakein 2014 through a multi-million pound deal. She was awarded an OBE in 2010.

On Twitter, Mone said she wasn’t taking a fee for the ten-month review period and that was looking forward to touring the country to find out what were the main issues were. The review intends to assess what the biggest barriers were to those in deprived areas starting new businesses.

Mone will travelacross the country and visit areas with higher levels of deprivation to ascertain what can measures can be taken to help those who would like to start a business in these communities.

The entrepreneur said she was blown away to be asked? and hoped the review would change lives.

Former Dragons’ Den investor and entrepreneur Doug Richard was previously appointed by the government to lead a review into apprenticeships in 2012. He wantedtobuild onthe record success of apprenticeships in the UK and the resulting consultation led to an implementation planto make apprenticeships more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers such as higher expectations on English and maths.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: Entrepreneurship can play an important role in supporting economic growth and creating jobs in our most disadvantaged communities.

He pointed out that people living in those areas face a range of additional barriers they need to overcome in starting and growing businesses.These include a lack of business and social networks, as well as a dearth of inspirational and relatable role models.

it’s an honour to be appointed to lead this review because I know how tough it can be setting up successful businesses, Mone said.

my philosophy is that it does not matter where you are from, what education you have, or if you are form an affluent background or not, you can make it if you work hard, set your goals and never give up.

The announcement of the review was welcomed by small businesses, with John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, saying he looked forward to ‘supporting Mone in her work to promote entrepreneurship and support the startups of the future.

if the UK is to operate at its full potential we need to make sure all those with talent and vision are given the opportunity they need to succeed. We cannot afford to let good ideas go to waste nor allow personal background or circumstances to act as barriers to starting a business, he added.

The FSB has also teamed up with the charity Young Enterprise in order to help promote business-based education across six disadvantaged areas in the UK, including Birkenhead, East Ham, Bristol, Chatham, Arfon and Edinburgh.

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