Ultimo founder Michelle Mone has been appointed by the UK government to conduct a review into how best to encourage start-ups in areas of high unemployment.
Mone will draw on her own experiences of setting up and running her own business for the review that will make recommendations to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Business Secretary Sajid Javid in 10 months’ time.
The review will identify the obstacles that people in the most disadvantaged areas face in becoming entrepreneurs, such as the lack of business networks and the lack of inspiring role models and mentors.
Mone left school in Glasgow at 15 with no qualifications, but went on to launch Ultimo in 1996.
She subsequently won the World Young Business Achiever Award in the US, as she took the lingerie brand global before the multi-million pound sale of 80% of the business last year.
Duncan Smith commented: “I am delighted Michelle has agreed to lead this review. There’s no-one I can think of who is better qualified to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds to turn a good idea into a flourishing business.
“We used to be known as a nation of shopkeepers. I want Michelle to report back to me on how we can encourage people of all backgrounds to take up this entrepreneurial spirit.”
Mone said she is honoured to be appointed to lead the review.
“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,” she added.
“My philosophy is 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 will travel across the UK, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, to talk to and listen to people and groups from all backgrounds.
“I want to learn about the barriers they are facing and what changes are needed,” she continued.
“A truly modern and successful economy needs to be able to unleash the entrepreneurial energy of skills of everyone in society.”
Take part in the Mone Review into business start-ups in disadvantaged areas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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