Tycoon appointed by government

Mone to review start-up problems in deprived areas

Michelle MoneUpdated: Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone is to carry out a review for the UK government into the problems facing entrepreneurs and business start-ups in disadvantaged communities.

Mone left school at 15 with no qualifications and went on to set up underwear company Ultimo. She now runs a fake tan company, UTan.

The Department for Work and Pensions has asked her to look at the obstacles people in deprived areas of Britain face when wanting to start out in business.

She will report her findings to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mone,  said: “I know how tough it can be setting up your own business.

“I am passionate about doing everything I can, to help create a climate in which people of all ages and backgrounds can succeed.

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

She said in a radio interview on Tuesday that she will report back in 10 months time and that it will be independent of government policy. She is undertaking the task without payment.

“I am doing this in my own time,” she said.

Apart from visiting deprived areas she will seek talks with big corporations such as banks and BT as well networks dedicated to helping start-ups such as Entrepreneurial Spark.

“People don’t know about finance, how to do their tax, employ people. Most of all it is about confidence. Once you give people confidence it doesn’t matter if they are from a deprived area.”

Ms Mone has become a role model for some women following her rise from Glasgow’s east end. She has made appearances on The Apprentice and Celebrity Masterchef and is due to take a seat in the House of Lords. She declined to discuss her expected elevation to the peerage.

She is said to be worth £20 million and was appointed an OBE in 2009.

Last year, she published a book on how she got started with Ultimo and the challenges she faced.

Ms Mone’s project will have the Twitter hashtag #BeTheBoss and will have its own website.

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