Lady (Michelle) Mone, Baroness of Mayfair OBE, is one of the most sought after inspirational speakers of our time. Recently voted the UK’s Number 1 Woman speaker, she is best renowned as one of Britain’s most influential ladies; both an entrepreneur and an advocate for equality for women in business.
Founder of Ultimo Brands International, the UK’s leading lingerie brand for the last two decades, she set out with a vision of helping woman look and feel their very best. It was upon that simple concept Baroness Mone built her career and influence, being honoured with a Life Peerage to the House of Lords by the Prime Minister and an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for her outstanding contributions to business.
Baroness Mone grew up in the impoverished East End of Glasgow when, at the age of fifteen, her father fell ill and was subsequently declared paraplegic and wheelchair bound for life. This forced Michelle to leave school without any qualifications in search of full-time employment, sparking her instinct for entrepreneurship. At the age of just 22, she excelled herself to Head of Sales and Marketing in Scotland for the Glasgow-based Labatt’s Brewers, however was made redundant after two short years.
In 1996, after only six weeks out of work, Michelle was at a dinner dance wearing a very uncomfortable cleavage enhancing bra. It was here the Baroness had an epiphany on what the lingerie industry was missing, and the world famous Ultimo bra was born.
After the launch of Ultimo, Michelle quickly established herself as one of Scotland’s finest exports, winning the World Young Business Achiever Award in 2000 at the Epcot Centre in Florida, as well as Business Woman of the Year at the Corporate Elite Awards in London. Her status as one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs was confirmed soon after when Prince Charles invited her to join the board of Directors for The Prince’s Trust.
In October 2005, Michelle attended a speaking event with former US president Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to her involvement in setting up the Women’s Enterprise Project in the Middle East in support of The Sultan of Oman. It was then she began to realise that her experiences and wisdom could transform lives and inspire others in the face of adversity. Despite facing a challenging few years in her private life, suffering an acrimonious divorce and battle to retain her business, Michelle is now one of the United Kingdom’s most notable global speakers.
The Baroness has inspired, coached and mentored audiences and individuals in over 50 countries over the last two decades. This culminated in her being given her Life Peerage in 2015, then being asked by the Prime Minister David Cameron and the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, to conduct The Mone Review; an insight into helping start-up businesses in deprived areas. Toward the end of 2016, the proud mother of Rebecca, Declan and Bethany proceeded to sell Ultimo to global lingerie giants MAS Holdings - one of the world’s largest manufacturers of intimates, with a $1.4 billion turnover and 63,000 employees. And after officially handing her UTAN business over to her eldest daughter Rebecca at the start of 2017, Michelle has decided to focus on her speaking, mentoring as well as her love of design.
I would like to pass on my thanks to Michelle for a truly memorable day on Friday.
Michelle scored 10 out of 10 across the board for her keynote speech; she was captivating, moving, honest, heart-warming, inspiring, funny, and more!
The audience absolutely adored her and she was an absolute pleasure to deal with on the day.
We were extremely excited that Michelle agreed to speak at our recent conferences here at Virgin Media and she really did us proud! During her presentation she shared some really personal insight into her life; from her younger days living in the West End of Glasgow as a 'tough little girl' to present day where she has created one of the most successful and recognisable brands in the lingerie industry. Not only is she interesting, engaging and brilliantly funny, she's also down to earth and just hit the right chord with the delegates that attended the conferences. As one delegate said of Michelle; "she is a very impressive personality and her ambitious attitude is a true example of persistence, perfection, patience, power and prioritising our passion."Michelle was definitely the highlight of the conferences - which is brilliant, but she is going to be a very hard act to follow at next year's events!
Michelle is a no nonsense get on and do it speaker. However, her story and her willingness to share her mistakes show you how we can all be very vulnerable, and also how we can all turn our lives and errors around. Michelle's talk is empowering, moving, motivational and captivating all at the same time... just like her!
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