A leading entrepreneur and businesswomen, Michelle Mone OBE, has been appointed to conduct an independent review to encourage further business start-ups and entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, including areas of high unemployment. According to a recent study, the unemployment rate among Asians (16+) is no less than 25%, compared to 16% among whites.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and they can help close the economic gap between the north and the south. The success of our economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them.
“This review is a great opportunity to engage and learn from them, celebrating their successes and sharing best practice to cement the UK’s position as the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.
“Through measures like our Enterprise Bill, trebling Start up Loans and cutting red tape, we are backing small businesses to grow and create more jobs and opportunity.”
Michelle was raised in a deprived part of Glasgow’s East End and, after leaving school at 15, she founded the Ultimo business in her twenties.
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.
Michelle has been asked to draw on her own experiences of setting up and running her own successful businesses for the review, that will make recommendations to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Business Secretary Sajid Javid in 2016.
She will travel across the country visiting communities with higher levels of deprivation – including areas of entrenched worklessness and lower education levels - to identify the barriers people in these areas face in setting up their own businesses. The review will have a particular focus on disadvantaged groups including benefit claimants, women, young and disabled people and ex-offenders.