Jacqueline Gold, the CEO of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, has been awarded a CBE for her services to entrepreneurship.
She collected the award from the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle yesterday.
Gold began her career at Ann Summers at the age of 21 as an intern with no formal business training.
She immediately saw the potential to change the business to be focussed on women, creating an environment through the Party Plan model that would allow women to shop for lingerie and sex toys in a safe, empowering environment.
Following a successful launch of the Party Plan business in 1980, Gold was appointed CEO in 1993 and shortly after this launched the first Ann Summers store on to the British High Street with an e-commerce site launching in 1999.
During her 35-year career, Gold has been proud to describe Ann Summers as a business “run by women, for women” and has received many accolades for creating a female institution.
Throughout her career, she has contributed £1.5 billion to the UK economy and given over 350,000 women financial independence through the Party Plan model which has enabled thousands of women to work flexibly and run their own businesses.
Ann Summers currently employs 10,000 people and is a true multi-channel retailer with 138 retail stores, a booming online platform, wholesale partnerships with ASOS, Shop Direct and House of Fraser and a Party Plan business with 4,000 active party planners.